A fake audio clip claiming a Bengali worker was beaten by a hotel owner in Sweet Meat Street in Kozhikode and later put to death by hanging. The audio clip that surfaced over WhatsApp, claimed migrant workers from northern and eastern parts of the country were facing death threats in Kerala. This led to nearly 400 migrant workers to flee from Kozhikode in Kerala.
The false campaign also used videos of mob lynching elsewhere to scare and trigger panic among the workers. The rumours were spread mainly among the migrant workers from Assam, Bengal and Orissa, which resulted in shutting down of two hotels as migrant workers left for their home states.
As per reports, pictures of the mob killings that took place in north India are being used with the messages to scare away the workers. While the messages have turned out to be false, the panic it has triggered has forced many migrants to flee Kerala. Hotel owners have lodged complaints with the district collector against the complaint.
Kerala’s racial intolerance has been on the rise as per media reports. This racial intolerance is not just limited against people from the North and Eastern states. A 45-year-old migrant worker from Tamil Nadu, whose leg was severed by his roommate in a drunken brawl in Malappuram district, was denied treatment by three hospitals, including two government medical colleges in Kerala.
Recently, Kerala state Public Works Minister G Sudhakaran has used the N-word against a world bank official Dr Bernard Aritua. Following the racist slur, instead of apologising, he claimed he didn’t know the word was banned.