Kozhikode

Excise to get dedicated Crime Branch unit for north Kerala

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Wing to conduct follow-up probes, submit FIRs in courts

The Excise Department’s dedicated Crime Branch squad for the northern Kerala region will soon start functioning with its headquarters in Kozhikode.

Conducting follow-up investigations into major cases exposed by the Excise enforcement units and speedy submission of First Information Reports (FIRs) in courts will be the prime responsibility of the newly formed wing, which will comprise three officers — an Excise Circle Inspector, an Excise Inspector and a Preventive Officer —in the first phase.

Redeployment

The dedicated wing earlier formed for covering central Kerala is fully functional now with the support of newly recruited staff. Some of the trained officials will be redeployed to handle case investigations in the northern Kerala region.

They will cover Kozhikode, Malappuram, Kannur, Wayanad and Kasaragod districts.

“We are yet to get the complete guidelines and the nature of functioning from the higher-ups, but the operation of the dedicated squad will be a great advantage for the department to fast-track investigations and avoid pendency,” said Deputy Excise Commissioner V.R. Anilkumar.

The Joint Excise Commissioner and the Assistant Excise Commissioner will be responsible for leading the regional Crime Branch units. Henceforth, the regional unit will be responsible for tracking cases registered under Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, and the Kerala Abkari Act.

Rise in number of cases

According to Excise Department officials, the increase in the number of cases registered under various sections of the three acts prompted the State government to form a dedicated Crime Branch wing with three regional units.

Since the Left democratic Front-led government came into power, the Department had registered 53,753 Abkari cases, 18,868 NDPS cases and over 2.15 lakh COPTA cases.

The follow-up investigations into some of the cases already registered will also be taken up by the Crime Branch wing.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 6:58:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/excise-to-get-dedicated-crime-branch-unit-for-north-kerala/article30126465.ece

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