Flare-up of communal tension following isolated clashes
District Collector P.B. Salim has clamped prohibitory orders under various sections of the Kerala Police Act on the Vadakara, Nadapuram, Kuttiyadi, and Perambra police circles in wake of a communal flare-up in the Thottilpalam-Kuttiyadi area on Monday evening.
Official sources said here on Tuesday that the prohibitory orders would be in place at four out of five circles in the Vadakara police subdivision, except Payyoli, for five days. These are Section 75 (power to prohibit mass drill), Section 78 (regulating nuisance caused by noise), and Section 79 (regulations to prevent violence) of the newly enacted Act.
Accordingly, the public will be banned from conducting mass training with arms or carrying of arms in any procession. In order to prevent any untoward incident, the public have been asked not to use the sound system, prepare, exhibit, or distribute pictures, symbols, placards, printed matter, pamphlets, books, audio-video recordings, digital records, and posters that could inflame communal or religious passion.
The trouble started when a motorcyclist attempted to break into a procession on the Thottilpalam-Kuttiyadi route on Monday evening. Rumours spread that a communal riot had occurred in the area, resulting in isolated clashes in some parts of Kuttiyadi.
Vadakara Superintendent of Police Neeraj Kumar Gupta said the situation had been brought under control. Considering the tension prevailing in the area, additional police personnel had been deployed. A Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy.SP) each has been given charge of each circle. Special squads led by the Dy.SP (Crime Detachment) and the Dy.SP (Control Room) are camping in the communally sensitive regions of Kuttiyadi and Nadapuram.
Mobile patrolling, led by Circle Inspectors, has been intensified during day and night. These included seven patrols during daytime and 12 at night at Nadapuram and seven and 10 at Kuttiyadi.
The police have arrested 14 persons in connection with fomenting trouble during the procession and afterwards. All of them have been charged under Section 153-A (promoting enmity between groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, and language and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), Section 143 (unlawful assembly), and Section 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapons) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), he said.
The accused were produced before the court and remanded in judicial custody for two weeks. The police are also investigating any conspiracy angle behind the violence, Mr. Gupta said.
Additional Director-General of Police (North Zone) Rajesh Dewan is closely monitoring the situation.