Buoyed by its impact on crime rate and containing fights between rival gangs, the Ernakulam Rural Police are set to ramp up action under Operation Dark Hunt, its ongoing campaign to crack down on anti-social elements.
So far, reports have been submitted to various Revenue Divisional Officers (RDOs) on 321 persons with criminal antecedents by invoking relevant provisions of the Kerala Anti-social Activities (Prevention) Act (KAAPA) along with a request for initiating security proceedings under the Criminal Procedure Code to ensure peace, tranquillity, and maintenance of law and order in their respective jurisdictions.
RDOs will convene a hearing and if satisfied with the police reports, the persons concerned will be asked to execute a bond for good behaviour. If they are found violating it and getting involved in criminal acts during the bond period, they will be arrested. “We are drawing up a list of more persons seeking similar action, as the invocation of KAAPA has been found to have a deterrent effect,” said K. Karthik, District Police Chief (Ernakulam Rural).
The Rural police have perhaps invoked KAAPA the most number of times in the State, with 23 having been arrested and 25 banned from entering its limits under Sections 3 and 15 respectively in the last two years. KAAPA can be invoked based on the District Police Chief’s report against those accused in three different cases in seven years.
Data of criminals in all the 34 stations across three sub-divisions are being vetted, and 115 with criminal antecedents remain under the scanner. The Kuruppampady police have arrested five persons under KAAPA, the most by any police station, followed by the Kalady police who arrested four. Angamaly, Perumbavoor, North Paravur and Munambam police have arrested two each, and Njarakkal, Vadakkekara, Aluva and Nedumbassery police have arrested one each.
Those arrested include notorious criminals. “We are also keeping track of drug-peddlers, and their immovable properties obtained through dubious means are being attached under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. Besides, we are keeping a close tab on the trial of criminal elements and diligently taking follow-up action, so that the cases are taken to their logical conclusion,” said Mr. Karthik.