Law enforcement frowns upon Marley-marijuana connections

Caribbean reggae icon Bob Marley’s tunes might have resonated with audiences worldwide, but certainly not with the city police. Here, pictures of Marley with his flying dreadlocks on T-shirts or for that matter any Marley memorabilia that a youngster might flaunt are looked upon with suspicion, and the fan could be inviting trouble.

Owners of a store named ‘Ganja’ that sold men’s wear and accessories, including Marley memorabilia, learnt this the hard way. They saw the police removing their display board and seizing products, including T-shirts, bracelets, bags, and wristbands, apart from being asked to change the name of the shop. They were arrested and later, let off on bail, with a case registered under the Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act.

This, City Police Commissioner H. Venkatesh says, has little to do with Bob Marley as a singer, but with the exploitation of the well-known connection between Marley and marijuana by local ganja dealers.

In short, singing Marley’s ‘Ganja Gun’ just won’t strike a chord in Thiruvananthapuram.

City cops ready for ‘Dhoom’

Chain-snatchers, in most cities, are regular entries in daily crime registries. But the police here want to change the script a little.

The number of chain-snatching incidents last year was quite unsettling, about 18 a month being recorded from October to December. A brief lull later, they have started striking again, the figure being about five in the past three weeks. The Booster Bike Patrol, exclusively to tackle bike-borne chain-snatchers, was on the streets much before it was supposed to, and yet the chain-snatchers struck twice.

“The emerging pattern so far has been of attacks carried out on roads with some connection to the bypass. Lanes near hospitals, schools and temples with few people around and from where the bypass can be reached in less than five minutes have been the target,” says City Commissioner Police H. Venkatesh.

Though patrolling on the bypass has been strengthened, that alone will not do. “In the past two incidents, we were alerted 15 to 30 minutes late, which is ample time for them to get away,” he said. Women are being requested to save the police emergency numbers 100 and 1090 on their mobile phones to alert the police immediately. Whether this means bike chases reminiscent of the Hindi movie trilogy ‘Dhoom’ remains to be seen.