'Did not tell the Swede to empty liquor bottles,' argues suspended Kovalam cop

Kovalam liquor issue
Swede Steven talks with policemen on the roadside in Kovalam on New Year's eve before emptying the liquor bottles on their instruction. Screengrab.

Thiruvananthapuram: Suspended Kovalam police sub-inspector TC Shaji has argued that he did not tell the Swedish national to empty the liquor bottles on the roadside on New Year's eve.

In a complaint filed before director general, Anil Kanth and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan through the police officers association, SI Shaji has said in his 35-year service he has never faced a similar action.

The SI's statement contradicts the alleged evidence in the form of a video of the incident that has gone viral. In the mobile phone visual, the foreigner, Steven, is being told by cops to dispose of the liquor for which he did not have any bills in possession.

According to SI Shaji, who has just five months of service remaining for retirement, Steven is not a tourist, but a resident of Kovalam for the last four years.

The police officers association had earlier claimed that Steven was not taking the liquor to his residence but to the beach, where it is not permitted.

From the video that is being circulated on social media, Steven can be seen emptying two of three bottles he had bought from a Bevco outlet. He, however, refused to throw away the plastic bottle as per instruction claiming it will lead to pollution.


Departmental enquiry against 3 cops
An internal enquiry has been launched against three other policemen who were present when the incident occurred.

Sub-inspector Aneesh and CPOs Manish and Sajith will face the enquiry.

Meanwhile, Steven visited the Fort Police Station to raise a different complaint, which he had intimated minister V Sivankutty on Saturday.

It is understood that Steven has complained about a land dispute with some locals.

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