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Assam labourers targeted in Kodagu by local workers after rape case

Assam labourers in Kodagu who are staying in coffee plantations across the Kodagu district, have become the target by Local workers and contractors after rape.

Kodagu Growers’ Federation alleging that two or three instances of assault against them have taken place in the past few days.

The recent arrest of two workers from West Bengal in connection with the rape and murder of a pre-university student in a coffee estate in Kodagu has given an excuse to the locals, who have been facing the heat of unemployment, to train their guns on migrant workers, who are mostly from the Northeast.

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The Local workers and contractors have demanded that the Assam workers be sent back to their native places.

“The migrant workers have pressed the panic button in the wake of the assaults by locals and are planning to return to their native places,” said Vishwanth, spokesperson, Karnataka Growers’ Federation.

The Kodagu growers’ and planters’ federations have condemned the rape and murder while demanding punishment of the culprits. They have also come down on locals for targeting the entire migrant workforce using the crime as an excuse.

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A representative of the growers’ federation said they preferred migrant labourers as they were willing to work till late in the day and put in overtime for incentives. But local labourers, who are even ferried from nearby places such as Periyapatna and parts of Hassan and Mysuru, leave estates early.

“Though they start by 10 a.m., they pack up around 3.30 or 4 p.m. saying they have a long journey home, leaving the work incomplete.”

Misuse of rape victim’s identity

The identity of the PU student who was raped and killed in a coffee estate in Siddapura police limits earlier this month has been misused by various organisations in Kodagu.

Madikeri Deputy Superintendent of Police Sundar Raj said a section of local workers have formed a struggle committee in the name of the victim. Various organisations are liberally using her name in press statements, which then appear in the local media.

Disclosing the name of a rape victim, even after her death, is barred under Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code.

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