Fishermen to help in coastal security

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: The City Police will rope in fishermen to increase the security along the coastal belt. “Kerala Marines (the marine wing of Kerala police formed in 2004, which is being revived now) will be provided with bigger boats and new police stations using Central funds. But that will not be able to check the intrusions using fishing boats and that is why we are seeking the support of fishermen,” said City Police Commissioner Manoj Abraham.

The Kerala Marines was formed to check communal violence along the coast, and smuggling activities, and assist trawl ban, along with keeping track of the foreign vessels coming along the State’s coast.

Personnel selected from the police were given training by Coast Guard. But the force soon lost momentum due to lack of infrastructure support. The personnel did not have proper bases or vessels to venture into deep seas. However, the force is being revived following the Mumbai terror strike.

“Even with latest gadgets, the personnel will not be able to monitor fishing vessels and identify strangers among them. On the other hand, fishermen can spot new boats even under the guise of fishing vessels,” said Mr. Abraham.

The City Police are now planning to extend the Janamaitri Suraksha Paddhati, the community policing initiative, and form Jagrata Samitis or alert groups. With nearly 5,000 fishing boats, both registered and unregistered boats, being launched from the district’s coast line daily, the fishermen community can be converted to an effective filter for strangers coming in from the seas.

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