In Kerala capital, goons attack and injure 11 cops in 3-month span

Representational Image. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: The Opposition parties in Kerala have been targeting the government for quite some time over what they term a breakdown in the law-and-order situation in the state. Even though the government has refuted such allegations, recent data from Thiruvananthapuram, indicates that even the police are vulnerable to the violence unleashed by goons. In fact, 11 police officers, including three sub-inspectors (SIs), have suffered injuries while on duty in attacks by criminal elements in the city over the last three months alone. Most of the attacks took place at night.

In the latest incident, members of a police team had a narrow escape when country bombs were hurled at them by goons during an operation to arrest a gang leader who had stabbed a hotel owner. However, two SIs were stabbed during the operation.

Another recent incident took place when the police arrived at a bar where two groups of people were engaged in a brawl. Vanchiyoor SI Arun Kumar and civil police officer Shabu were allegedly attacked by two history-sheeters, Kannadi Sunil (33) of Perunthanni and Sanju (36) of Pettah, at the bar. Arun Kumar suffered a fracture on his finger during the skirmish.

Meanwhile, a major controversy was sparked after a five-member gang of habitual offenders surrounded and thrashed H P Jayaprakash, the SI of Poonthura, and three other police personnel while they were engaged in regular patrolling.

At the same time, the SI of Thampanoor, Saji Kumar, and another officer, Ajaya Kumar, who was accompanying him, were attacked by an accused being taken for medical examination and his brother. The police officers had taken the accused into custody on charges of attacking a witness in a case and were taking him to Government Fort Hospital for a medical examination. The brother of the accused also reached the place and demanded that the police let him off. Both brothers soon launched an attack on the police officers.

Yet another incident took place at Valiyathura police station, where an accused in a rape case escaped after shoving a policeman, leaving the latter injured.

Incidentally, the City Police have constituted four ‘Striker Teams’, each with 10 personnel, to deal with law and order issues reported at night. However, the services of these teams are often not available, even though the City Police Commissioner has issued a directive to police stations to contact them when facing a shortage of hands to tackle emergency situations. The directive says that station house officers (SHOs) could request three or four members of the strike Teams to join them during such night-time operations.

However, the recent incidents reveal that the officers from police stations would receive no reinforcements. For instance, no additional personnel were granted when the police launched a hunt for Django Kumar, a habitual offender who travels with country bombs. Kumar had earlier attacked the police with bombs on two occasions. Still, the police team included only six personnel, including the driver. Kumar was later overpowered by the police with great difficulty, even after two SI suffered stab injuries.

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