Kerala

Police focus on north Kerala

A view of the rally organised by the Popular Front of India in Kozhikode on December 13 in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

A view of the rally organised by the Popular Front of India in Kozhikode on December 13 in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.   | Photo Credit: S. RAMESH KURUP

Priority for preventing violence, ensuring free movement

The police are focussed on preempting outbreak of violence given the hartal called by the Social Democratic Party of India and some fringe outfits on Tuesday in protest against the “anti-Muslim” provisions of the Citizen Amendment Act, 2019.

Officers said reports of restiveness had tricked in from areas in Kozhikode, Kannur, Malappuram and Kasaragod districts that had witnessed violence in April 2018 when a set of organisations called for a “flash hartal” in protest against the rape and murder of a minor Muslim girl in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir. Officers said several college campuses in north Kerala also seemed to on the edge.

The police were monitoring social media, particularly WhatsApp networks that were widely used by fundamentalist organisations on either side of the religious spectrum for orchestrating the Kathua riots and later the “Save Sabarimala” violence in Kerala last year.

The police said they were also keenly aware that the atmosphere of tension and disquiet in the run-up to the hartal could be exploited by political parties seeking to settle scores. They have intensified patrolling in the neighbourhood of sensitive party offices in the State.

Law enforcers were also checking vehicles for arms and explosives. District Police Chiefs have put on striking standby forces of armed police officers for rapid deployment. The police were sweeping major thoroughfares and byroads to check for roadblocks.

Strong deployment

Law enforcers have also been deployed in strength at bus terminals and railway stations. They would protect vehicles arriving at airports.

The police have put Highway Patrol groups on high alert and ordered them to interdict and use force against those who seek to attack vehicles or target pedestrians.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 8:53:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/police-focus-on-north-kerala/article30324145.ece

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