District administration organises feedback session on the Act

No detention order under the Kerala Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act (KAAPA) has come up from Kozhikode district before the Advisory Board (a body constituted by the government as required by the Act) in the last three years, its secretary Joseph Rajan has said.

He was speaking at a feedback session on KAAPA organised by the district administration for police officers at the Collectorate here on Thursday. This showed the poor performance of the city police and rural police despite the rising number of crimes in both these police districts.

Over 1,000 cases had been taken up at the advisory board so far. Detention cases in Kozhikode city was fewer when compared to other cities such as Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kochi, and Thrissur, he added.

The police might have many reasons for the fewer number of detention cases. But officers appeared not to be serious while taking up goonda cases. More crimes were reported in the media these days. Incidentally, only 20 persons had been detained in the district since the Act came into effect in 2007.

The police should properly and judiciously maintain a register of persons involved in more than three or more grave offences, Mr. Rajan said.

He said the State had the highest crime rate in the country as per the statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau. Over 5.11 lakh cases were registered in 2012. Maharashtra came second. Perhaps this could be attributed to the high literacy and the better police-public interface in the State.

Kerala was also a State where there would be a counter case for every case. Sometimes, the accused filed a petition even before the victim registered the complaint at police station. Cases included family disputes as well, Mr. Rajan said. The State had envisaged the KAAPA only in 2007 whereas many States such as Karnataka had made legislations as early as 1985 (The Karnataka Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug-offenders, Gamblers, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders and Slum-Grabbers Act, 1985).

Presiding over the session, board chairman Justice V. Ramkumar said the KAAPA was not meant to punish the offender but to take preventive measures. The Act did not make provision to detain a person because s/he was a known goonda or rowdy. There should be a requisite satisfaction for this. The definition of goonda and rowdy were also different in the Act, he said.

Paul Simon, member of the advisory board, said 10 categories of offenders had been mentioned in the Act. Drug offenders, goondas, hawala racketeers, immoral traffickers, known rowdies, loan sharks, and property grabbers were included in the list, he said.

District Collector K.C. Latha, Additional District Magistrate K.P. Rema Devi, Kozhikode City Police Commissioner G. Sparjankumar, and Kozhikode Rural Superintendent of Police T.K. Rajmohan were present.

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