Kerala

Poovar case: Tourist spots to come under scanner

With the Christmas-New Year festive season round the corner, tourist destinations have come under a tight scanner in the wake of the crackdown on a rave party at a resort at Poovar, near here.

The Excise Department is gearing up for inspections in resorts and hotels across the State in anticipation of an inflow of narcotic substances.

Excise Commissioner S. Aananthakrishnan said the event at Poovar could not have been the first instance of drug-fuelled programmes in the region.

“We can no longer overlook the possibility of drug trade under the cover of dance and DJ parties and fashion shows. Such nefarious activities are likely to peak during the festive seasons when visitors make a beeline for these destinations,” he pointed out.

The top official added that raids will be intensified in the days to come to prevent similar events. The inspections are also bound to act as a deterrent for such attempts in the future, he felt.

A day after the arrest of three youths in connection with the ‘Nirvana music and fashion festival’ organised at the Karaikkattu Backwater and Resorts, the Excise Department has decided to constitute a special investigation team for the ongoing probe that could extend well beyond the State.

The synthetic drugs including MDMA that were seized at the resort are suspected to have been smuggled from Bengaluru by the prime accused Akshay Mohan, who is believed to have organised similar events in places including Kullu-Manali and Goa, State Excise Enforcement Squad circle inspector T. Anikumar, who led the raid, said.

Besides Akshay, the other accused Peter Shine and Asher were remanded to judicial custody after being produced at a court in Neyyattinkara on Monday.

While the excise team had detained 19 attendees at the resort, they were let off late Sunday after collecting their details and recording their statements. Official sources claimed most of the nearly-100 participants who had registered for the event had come to witness the music and fashion show.

The event was originally planned for Sunday and Monday with a rehearsal held on Saturday. Following the rehearsal of the ramp walk, several models were accommodated in another facility near Poovar. They were apparently ‘evacuated’ after news of the raid began to trickle in.

Meanwhile, a model based in Thiruvananthapuram was placed under surveillance following allegations that she was involved in the drug racket. However, she was let off after questioning in a hotel in Kazhakuttam, sources said.


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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 8:57:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/poovar-case-tourist-spots-to-come-under-scanner/article37870998.ece

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