Kochi City police throw security blanket around Chief Minister

The Kochi City police literally threw a security blanket around Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who was here for two functions on Saturday, leading to allegations of public hardships by way of traffic regulations for the movement of his motorcade and unlawful custody of two transwomen.

Transwomen Avanthika Vishnu and Anna Raju were taken into custody by the Palarivattom police from near the Kaloor metro station ahead of Mr. Vijayan’s arrival in the neighbourhood for the inauguration of a lab. They alleged that they were picked up on account of their black dress in view of the black flag protest being staged against the Chief Minister across the State.

“We were taken into custody and brought to the women’s police station by male police. We will lodge a complaint against the police atrocity with the Police Complaints Authority. Let black dress be banned till the gold smuggling case is over,” said Avanthika.

They claimed that they had merely come to board the metro to Kalamassery after shopping. Incidentally, Avanthika claimed that she was a Yuva Morcha activist and Anna, an office-bearer of Transgender Congress.

The Palarivattom police dubbed the action as a preventive arrest and said that no case was registered against them. “They weren’t taken into custody for their black dress as they allege but for creating public nuisance,” said V.U. Kuriakose, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Kochi City.

Over 150 police personnel were deployed under Deputy Superintendents of Police and Assistant Commissioners for the security of the Chief Minister and along the route. Large number of police personnel were deployed at the Ernakulam Guesthouse where the Chief Minister stayed in the afternoon.

Traffic regulations during the movement of the Chief Minister’s motorcade held up traffic for a while along the areas he passed through, leading to public ire.

The police, however, denied charges that they had banned black masks at functions attended by the Chief Minister. An official said that only in specific cases of suspicion did they ask to remove black masks.

Yuva Morcha activists waved black flag at the Chief Minister at Thoppumpady while he was on his way to Chellanam. An activist was taken into custody.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 4:35:01 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/kochi-city-police-throw-security-blanket-around-chief-minister/article65518097.ece