Police will adopt measures to curtail the illegal use of explosives in rural belts of the district, writes Biju Govind.

The rural areas of Kozhikode are witnessing a spurt in number of cases pertaining to Indian Arms Act and Explosive Substances Act. Nearly 91 cases have been registered at police stations particularly at Nadapuram, Valayam and the newly inaugurated Chombal limits last year.

As many as 58 arms and explosive cases were registered in 2008. The increase in number of cases has been attributed to political parties and religious outfits illegally procuring explosives. Around 25 persons have secured licences to sell explosives. Besides, around 100 granite quarries operate in the area especially the region bordering Wayanad and Malappuram districts.

Causes

Frequent violence in Nadapuram, on political and communal issues, too has played a part in the rise in number of cases. Booking an activist of a political party under the Kerala Anti-social Activities (Prevention) Act in October had escalated violence in the area.

This apart, clashes had occurred between parties including the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and between the nascent Popular Front of India (PFI), earlier known as National Development Front (NDF). The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was also involved in some of the violent incidents.

The run-up to the Lok Sabha polls last year had led to conflicts between workers of the Janata Dal (Secular) faction led by M.P. Veerendrakumar and CPI (M). The clashes spread after the announcement of results. Clashes occurred following the emergence of the dissident CPI (M) group at Onchiyam.

The police said that stockpiling of explosives by fundamentalist outfits too was a cause of concern. Pilfering of materials from other districts has also been reported. But the police have not been able to trace the source.

Search operations

Kozhikode Rural Superintendent of Police Neeraj Kumar Gupta said that steps had been taken to curtail procuring of explosive materials through illegal means. Proactive measures adopted through search operations had yielded good results. At least five suo motu cases have been registered in January and February, he said.

The proposal of the State government to distribute explosive substances through cooperative societies would help bring down their illegal use. Those possessing licence would also come under the societies. Societies have already been formed in the district. A few have applied for licence for selling explosive substances. Explosive substances are required even for digging of wells in the hill regions, he said.

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