KOCHI: Kochi’s crime rate is already on the higher side. Now, it has also earned the dubious honour of registering the highest number of criminal cases in Kerala involving citizens from other states. Police and Excise officials say a majority of such cases were registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
As per the data with the Home Department, crimes involving workers from other states have already risen by 20 per cent in Kochi this year, with two months more to go.
Till October, 340 cases involving people from other states were registered in the city in comparison to a total of 279 cases in 2018. In contrast, the Ernakulam rural region, which has the highest concentration of workers from other states, saw just 132 case being registered till October 20, in comparison to 208 cases in 2018.
No need for concern: Cops
The police officials maintained that there was no need for concern. “Comparatively, the number of criminal cases involving people from other state is less in Kerala. Of a total of nearly 1 lakh cases registered in Kerala annually, less than 1,000 are criminal cases involving people from other state. Kochi city has a large population of other state citizens working here. Hence, the number of cases against them is also high here,” said a top police officer.
The involvement of other state denizens in NDPS cases has been worrying authorities though.
“In Ernakulam district, several drug peddling and smuggling cases have been registered under NDPS Act against workers from West Bengal and Assam areas. These persons are used to smuggle in ganja, banned tobacco products and drugs. We conduct inspections at railway stations to prevent the flow of drugs from other states,” said deputy commissioner (Excise) A S Ranjith. He also raised concerns over the rise in instances of hashish being smuggled from Bangladesh.
“In recent months, it has come to our notice that smuggling of hashish using people from other states has been on the rise in the district. Drug rackets procure hashish from Bangladesh and bring it to West Bengal, from where it is brought here on trains. We suspect the hashish originated in Afghanistan,” he said.
Cases against people from other states
Ernakulam city 340
Ernakulam rural 132
Thrissur city 29
Kozhikode city 28
Kozhikode rural 28
Thrissur rural 27
Kollam rural 10
T’Puram city 7
Kollam city 5
T’Puram rural 3