Surveillance to be boosted in tribal areas

The Thiruvananthapuram Rural police will intensify surveillance in the tribal areas of the district in view of the recent spate of suicides that were reported in the region.

District Police Chief (Thiruvananthapuram Rural) Divya V. Gopinath visited various settlements colonies including Idinjar, Iyakode, and Vettikavu as part of the ongoing investigation on Monday.

The tribal areas of Vithura and Peringamala are reported to have witnessed at least five suicides among girls, including minors, since September last. Two minor girls had allegedly committed suicide recently. Two youths were subsequently arrested for abetting the suicides. There have been allegations of children being enticed using narcotic substances and subjected to sexual abuse.

Dr. Gopinath interacted with the families of the deceased as well as the ‘ooru moopans’ (tribal leaders) of the settlements. She received complaints regarding purported instances of outsiders frequenting the tribal areas for nefarious activities. The residents also shared their concerns regarding the youngsters falling prey to the evil designs of the drug and the liquor mafia.

According to the senior officer, criminal cases were registered under provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) in connection with the recent deaths of the two minor girls. The investigations were in its final stages and the charge-sheets would be submitted to the court in a time-bound manner.

She pointed out the police had taken cognizance of outsiders “aged around 23 and 24 years” engaging in shady activities in connivance with local youngsters. Such movements would be constantly monitored through a surveillance mechanism that would include CCTV cameras.

Counselling and sensitisation programmes would also be conducted for youngsters to prevent them from becoming gullible victims to illegal activities. Welfare measures would also be undertaken for the tribespeople. Excise and Forest officials also accompanied the District Police Chief and other police officers.

Health and Woman and Child Development Minister Veena George had ordered an inquiry into the suicides two days ago.

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Printable version | May 19, 2022 1:52:55 am |