Out of the 4,500 autorickshaw drivers in the city, 2,000 secure photo identity cards issued by the police

The city police have decided to make photo identity cards mandatory for all autorickshaw drivers. The decision, which came into effect on July 1, is mainly for the benefit of people who hire the vehicles.

V. Abdul Razak, Assistant Commissioner (Traffic) who coordinates the project, says the drivers will be legally bound to wear the cards in such a way as to make them visible for travellers. Citizens have the full right to complain if drivers are found violating the directions, he says.

When the police introduced the project as a trial run two years ago, there were many drivers, especially those aligned to various unions, opposed the idea. They had said it was only meant for troubling the drivers’ community.

Meantime, officials say that no such arguments will be entertained this time and drivers unwilling to cooperate with the decision will be kept out of city services.

At present, there are 4,500 auto drivers in the city, of which 2,000 have secured the identity cards issued by the police. Effort is in full swing to make the remaining ones obtain the cards. Officials say drivers who are still reluctant to apply for the card will have to face the consequences.

A Rural police team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police (Crime Detachment) P.P. Sadanandan arrested one more youth suspected to be part of an online gambling chain operating in the State with the support of a newly developed Android application.

R. Rajith, 29, of Vadakara was nabbed on Wednesday. The arrested was charged under Section 420 (Punishment for cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and various other sections of the Lottery Regulation and Information Technology Acts. He was produced before the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court in Vadakara and remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.

Mr. Sadanandan told The Hindu on Wednesday that Rajith, the seventh accused in the case, was having secret deals with a prominent lottery agent in Palakkad district, who was behind the circulation of the Android gambling application, named King 50. The application was used by various clients to predict the last three digits of prize-winning lottery numbers of the Kerala government, he said.

Rajith was the sixth person arrested in connection with the gambling case. The police officials confirmed that inquiry was going on to trace the developers of two more Android applications for gambling, named Wify and Slapper. A leading lottery agency in Kannur district too had come under the scanner, they added.

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