Checking for illegal firecrackers, explosives

The police are tightening security measures in the city and the district by deploying additional personnel and keeping a watch on the influx of migrant tradesmen coming to the city ahead of the Vishu and Easter festival season.

Sources in the Special Branch, Kozhikode City Police, said over 60 personnel had been deployed in the Kozhikode South areas to conduct surveillance and curb illegal activities during the festival season.

“We are keeping up the vigil in continuation of the police work done during the election time,” T.V. Sajeevan, Special Branch Officer, said on Monday.

Checking for illegal firecrackers and contraband, explosives, illicit liquor and spirits and vehicles entering the city was also on, the police said. Patrolling had also intensified in the sensitive parts of the district.

“We have already checked the licences of various firecracker units and retailers a week ago. But we are not letting down our guard,” Mr. Sajeevan said.

A spell of heavy rain in the afternoon dampened the spirit of the hawkers who came to the city’s iconic S.M. Street to sell their wares. Among the brightly lit shops of S.M. Street, Mohammed Khan from Mumbai roams tirelessly with his clothes stand full of children’s dresses.

“I have brought a box of 50 clothes, only six were sold at a price of Rs.50 each. None of one of my silk dresses, priced at Rs.200 a piece, has been sold,” he said.

Kishan Chand from Uttar Pradesh is patiently folding back the T-shirts that customers had left crumpled on his cart.

“Business is bad. It is a tough job to keep the customers from losing interest. The rain also played spoilsport,” he said.

But some shoppers were soon back on the street and along the crowded retail hub of Mavoor Road, enticing pavement sellers to risk the overcast sky to display their wares.

Readymade clothes, plastic toys and aluminium kitchen wares were sold like hotcakes towards evening as the last-minute festival shopping reached a frenzy.

The Mananchira lawns played the perfect host for families and young couples out for fresh air and children were seen playing, unmindful of the fresh dew on the grassy expanse.

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