Coimbatore: The arrest of a suspected Maoist here seems to have triggered panic among some migrant workers, particularly from Bihar and Odisha, who are heading towards their hometowns, apprehending trouble.
Even as suspected Maoist Shyamcharan Tudu was being taken to Kolkata by Alleppey-Dhanbad Express, workers in large numbers, particularly from Bihar, also boarded the train and some were waiting for trains to Chennai for their onward journey to their villages.
When contacted, a senior police official said the department has already formed 25 special teams, 10 for city and 15 for rural areas-- to check whether any Maoist sympathisers were working in factories, foundries, brick kilns, textile mills and construction sector.
Though there was a circular that all industries and those who were letting out portions for rent should obtain related information from their prospective tenants and inform police, who if necessary would issue identify cards, it was not followed for the last few months, he said.
Some of the migrant workers, who were waiting at the railway station, said they were going to attend marriages in their villages. Some said being vacation time, many of their relatives would come to the villages and for one month there would be get-together and they wanted to join them.
However, when asked about their ID cards, they claimed they were taken away by industries in which they were employed, and would be returned only after their return.
A senior official from Southern India Mills` Association said migrant workers were not employed in the mills in large numbers and when the workers had migrated some six months ago, due to attacks on North East population, there was no migration from mill sector.
Sources said though Tudu is said to have confessed that there were no Maoists working with him in the foundry, police are inquiring with industrialists on presence of workers with Maoist links.
"We will get full information in a couple of days as the exercise to identify such workers would go on for another one week," the police official said, adding, workers with possible links with naxal movement might have moved out of the region, immediately after the arrest.
A police team from West Midnapore district of West Bengal arrested 26-year-old Tudu, who was working in a foundry at Peelamedu near here yesterday. He was arrested on charges of involvement in the 2010 Silda paramilitary outpost attack in West Bengal that left 24 personnel dead.