Red sanders smuggling, illegal mining and transport of sand and gambling kept the Kadapa district police on their toes in the year 2020. The police cracked the whip against the perpetrators in a bid to keep the crime rate in check.
The dense Seshachalam forest in the district has been a hotbed for smuggling of the high quality red sanders and its porous nature makes it difficult for the forest and police officials to keep a watch on the woorcutters and smuggling operatives.
The number of smuggling cases rose by 10% in 2020 with the arrest of 283 people in 54 cases and seizure of 643 logs and 43 vehicles. In 2019, 223 people were arrested in 48 cases, apart from seizure of 887 logs and 43 vehicles. The PD Act was invoked against Lal Basha and Zakir Basha, who were wanted smugglers with international links.
With the illegal mining and trasportation of sand on the rise, the Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) intensify surveillance on the reaches and seized 15,950 tonnes of sand being ferried in 688 vehicles, along with the arrest of 1,018 persons.
The police got better its record as the seizure of sand was put at 2,781 tonnes and arrest of 860 persons in 2019.
Gambling and betting on the cricket matches also saw a rise in 2020 in view of the IPL series that was held in Dubai. “We conducted frequent raids against cricket betting, matka, gambling and banned cock fights. In total, 1,360 cases were registered when compared to 1,728 cases booked in 2019,” Superintendent of Police K.K.N. Anburajan told the media on Thursday.
Referring to the other policing measures, the SP said 454 persons, who were indetified as ‘factionists’, were counselled. The police also conducted foot patrols, ‘Palle Nidra’, ‘Grama Sabha’, Nakabandi (surprise vehicular checking) .
Crimes against women
The police also laid a special focus on the crimes against women. As amny as 9,491 awareness programmes were organised and 1,438 facing eve-teasing charges were counselled. The police also thwarted 113 child marriages.
A whopping 13, 679 women downloaded the Disha app on their phones. In total, 28 ‘Disha’ bikes were pressed into service for patrolling in every sub-division. As the impact of Covid-19 loomed large over the district, 642 police personnel on lockdown duty tested positive and eight breathed their last. Nearly 1,000 persons were evacuated to safety during the Cyclone Nivar.