Detention under KAPA to be extended

Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan on Friday said the government was likely to increase the detention period of persons declared as “known rowdies” under the provisions of the Kerala Anti-Social Activities Prevention Act (KAPA) from six months to one year to give more teeth to the police to effectively suppress criminal gangs that profit from contract killing.

Speaking after attending a meeting of senior police officers here, Mr. Radhakrishnan said the government was resolved to putting an end to the black practice of organisations and individuals contracting thugs to eliminate political, personal, and business adversaries.

It was the primary and paramount duty of the State to protect civil society from such organised barbarism. The government wanted to reiterate that police officers could take independent legal action during law and order situations.

“I want to stress that the police can and should act without fear or favour. I am stating the obvious in the background of certain recent unhealthy trends on which I do not want to elaborate further,” he said.

The police would find out how the mobile phone call details of an officer investigating the T.P. Chandrasekharan murder case came in the public domain. “It is a very serious matter and the police will find out those responsible,” he said.

He denied the allegation that the Home Department had “thwarted” the Central Bureau of Investigation’s inquiry against T.G. Nandakumar, a Kochi-based businessman.

The police would more stringently monitor the movement, purchase, and stocking of explosives and detonators to ensure that the lethal substance did not “fall into wrong hands”.

Mr.Radhakrishnan said the government would pass a new law to ensure the protection and welfare of women at public spaces, workplaces, home, government offices, and educational institutions. Civil society should be vigilant against imported and home-grown terror tendencies.

The State had a 590-km coastline and large swathes of forested areas, which could be used to their advantage by radical elements.

Asked whether policemen on night duty would be henceforth provided firearms in the wake of the murder of a police officer in Kollam recently, State Police Chief Jacob Punnose said officers from Assistant Sub-Inspectors and upwards had side-arms.

They were free to arm themselves if they felt the situation warranted so. However, studies world over had shown that posting policemen flaunting arms in public had its own drawbacks and dangers.

The State police had armed elements specially trained to be deployed in conflict situations where use of firearms was legally necessary, he said.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy chaired the meeting. Chief Secretary K. Jayakumar, Home Secretary Sajan Peter, Additional Director-General of Police, Intelligence T.P. Senkumar, and other senior officers attended the meeting.

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Printable version | May 21, 2022 4:07:51 pm |