NEW DELHI: Stepping up the investigation into the rumours of the alleged 'attack' on the Bihar migrant labourers in Tamil Nadu, the police of both states have swung into action with the Bihar Police issuing the preservation notice to social media platforms while the Tamil Nadu Police is conducting the reach out programmes to the labourers to allay their fears.
The Bihar Police has asked the platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Gmail to save the links of the posts by the miscreants in connection with the rumours of the alleged 'attack', to help in the probe in the future.
"We have sent preservation notices to Facebook, Youtube and Gmail under which all these service providers are directed to save the links with them for about three months so that thorough investigation is done in case someone deletes it," Jitendra Singh Gangwar, ADG Police Headquarters said in a press conference today.
On the other hand, the Tamil Nadu Police is reaching out to the migrant workers attempting to send the message that the atmosphere is peaceful and the labourers can return to their work.
"The situation now is peaceful and the workers have resumed their work. A few of them have left for the Holi celebrations. They had already booked their tickets and therefore they are gone, otherwise, we are able to convince them through the employers. The police officers have reached out to the migrant workers and also convinced them that there is no such incident of attack on Bihari workers or workers from any other state here. Whatever they have seen in the media that the migrant labourers are attacked, they are all fake videos,"
Tamil Nadu DGP C Sylendra Babu said while speaking to ANI. He dismissed the reports of any 'attack' on the Bihar migrant labourers and said that videos circulated on social media are fake and most of them have not taken place in Tamil Nadu.
"Most of them have not even taken place in Tamil Nadu. They were now convinced. In the places where the north Indian workers were employed, we have intensified the police patrol. Hindi-knowing police officers are in constant touch with them," he said.
The Bihar Police official also stressed that the video which went viral was made "deliberately".]
"The video was made deliberately to sway the public with propaganda. There could have been worse situations arising because of this video. A DSP and 4 members are currently in Tamil Nadu," the police official said.
The Tamil Nadu Police DGP said that they have set up helpline numbers in many districts asking people to file complaints about any such incident.
"Special helplines have been set up in districts including Erode, Tripur, Coimbatore, and Chennai to encourage people to come forward to give a complaint if at all there is any. There has been not even one complaint from them," he said.
The police official also mentioned the team which visited from Bihar to gather information about the alleged 'attacks' and said that they have been informed about the "offensive information" that was spread in the last few days.
"They have got the first-hand information that every offensive information that has been published from March 1 onwards, is devoid of truth. They are completely fake videos. The district administration and the police are in touch with the employers and sometimes the workers," he said.
The DGP elaborated on the steps taken by the administration and police to counter the rumours and said that the real motive behind the rumours and fake videos can be ascertained after the investigation.
"Since March 1, we started countering the fake information. On March 2, I came on video and clarified the situation about a particular video. My officers who are also from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh also gave video bytes. Our 37 social media cells have also countered in terms of comments, and other means that these incidents have never taken place in Tamil Nadu. We requested to delete these contents. Many of the channels did not delete, therefore, we have registered criminal cases against them. Because of this, many of them have deleted the contents," he said adding that some of them are still keeping it.
He said that the police have registered nine cases so far and investigating the matter.
"We have registered nine cases so far based on the legal opinion and complaints. We are investigating and based on the investigation, it will be possible for us to know what is the real motive behind the creation of such videos and without verifying the facts, they still continue to do it," the police official said.
He appealed to the migrant workers not to believe in what has been reported in the media and the rumours on social media stating that the police officials are active in their protection.
"Rumours are very dangerous and can cause serious law and order problems. Therefore, do not forward any such posts on social media which is very offensive and which can cause serious bitterness between two groups of people. I appeal to the migrant workers that there is nothing of this nature which has been reported in the press has happened. You can trust our officers, we are in touch with you. Keep attending to your work. There is nothing adverse here. We are always here for your protection," he said.
"Everybody must act responsibly including the members of the press," the DGP added. Meanwhile, amid the row over alleged 'attacks' over Bihar migrant workers, Tamil Nadu Minister for Labour Welfare and Skill Development CV Ganesan on Monday said that the state government is in the middle of a process of conducting a census of the migrant labourers.
The Minister stressed that the migrant labourers are safe in the state, stating that this has been conveyed to the 4-member team from Bihar which had visited Tamil Nadu to gather information about the alleged incidents of 'attack'.
"Tamil Nadu Govt is in process of collecting a census of migrant labours. Migrant workers in Tamil Nadu are safe, they themselves told this to the team that came to Tamil Nadu on behalf of govt from Bihar," Ganesan said in a press conference. He further said that the MK Stalin-led government has taken steps to make sure that the migrant labourers from across the country are safe.
"The Tamil Nadu government has been actively taking steps to ensure the safety of migrant labourers. A Census of Migrant workers is ongoing in every district. There are approximately 6 lakh Migrant workers in Tamil Nadu," the Minister said.
Earlier on Saturday, a 4-member team from Bihar reached Chennai and participated in a meeting with Chennai District Collector, Commissioner of Tamil Nadu Labour Department and other government officials in connection with the matter.
The Bihar government had sent the team to the Southern state after reports of alleged attacks on the migrant labourers surfaced.
The four-member team included D Balamurugan, Secretary, Rural Development, P Kanan, IPS (IG CID), Shree Alok, Special Secretary, Labour Department and an IPS officer will submit a report to the Bihar chief minister after their visit.
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