The pandemic that imposed a hitherto unprecedented job profile on the police continued to challenge the force in the district in 2021 with an intense second wave in the first half of the year.
Then after the near normalisation of life for months, police have now again been put on alert with the Omicron variant of the virus threatening another potential wave.
“The second wave posed an immense challenge in enforcing home quarantine since the numbers were huge. We also have to strictly enforce social distancing and wearing of masks. Later, crowd management at vaccination centres in coordination with various departments assumed priority,” recollected C.H. Nagaraju, District Police Chief (Kochi City).
By the time things settled down on the pandemic front, crime rate started getting back to the pre-pandemic level. Mr. Nagaraju cited the arrest of Sanu Mohan accused of killing his young daughter from Karnataka after being on the run for days as one of the major achievements of the city police.
The arrest of Martin Joseph on the charge of confining a costume-designer from Kannur at an apartment at Marine Drive and brutally assaulting her was another major case. “Thereafter there was a real surge in the reporting of domestic violence,” said Mr. Nagaraju.
Then came the case related to the death of the two models and the arrest of the accused yet again put the focus back on drugs. Going into the New Year, imposing restrictions and avoiding crowding remain our priority in view of the threat posed by Omicron, said Mr. Nagaraju.
The Ernakulam rural police have prioritised the safety of women and children in the New Year after a year when they were called up to act on multiple fronts. “The year that had gone by was a challenging one as we had to deal with the enforcement of the pandemic protocol, maintain law and order and manage the problems posed by rain fury,” said K. Karthik, District Police Chief (Ernakulam Rural).
Of late, huge drug hauls, including ganja and synthetic drugs, has soared in rural police limits. Mr. Karthik, however, said that in majority of the cases, the seizures were made along the national highway while the drug was being taken somewhere else. “It is to the credit of our strong intelligence network that we could intercept and make those seizures,” he said.