THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The number of crimes registered during the festival period is on the rise in the city, adding to the woes of the men in uniform. As a result, more than 20 people were arrested last month in connection with violence on temple premises during festivals. City Police Deputy Commissioner (Administration & Crime) Ramesh Babu confirmed that the crimes registered during the festival time had increased. ”The rise in the crime graph can be attributed mainly to the stand of the temple committees, which do not want police action against the miscreants, fearing their wrath,” he said.
During March, 20 people were picked up for indulging in violence on the premises of the Mannanthala Anandavalleeswaram Temple.
The policemen who were stationed at the temple were injured and the windscreen of a police jeep was shattered in the stone-pelting indulged in by the miscreants.
Initially, the attack appeared an act committed by anti-social elements under the influence of liquor. But, later, it was revealed that the violence stemmed from the political enmity between two organisations. Peroorkada CI V Jayachandran said that eight arrests have been made so far.
On March 30, a similar incident occurred near Pallipuram on the outskirts of the city. Eight youths were injured, two of them receiving deep cuts, when the residents of Karichara and Apollo Colonies had a skirmish sparked off by an altercation that had taken place during the festival at Karichara temple. Mangalapuram police have registered two cases in this regard and booked eight persons.
Kazhakkoottam police arrested 10 youths for attacking another gang at Padikya Vilakom Temple, near Kazhakkoottam, eight days ago. According to the Kazhakkoottam SI, all the injured had criminal antecedents and were attacked by a group of youngsters who were physically intimidated by them.
Similar cases occurred in the limits of Poojappura, Fort and Malayinkeezhu police stations. But, in many cases, the police officers were forced to remain mute witnesses.
According to Ramesh Babu, ‘’the temple committee members initially ask the police to intervene when disturbances start at the venues of music concerts or comedy shows. But they don’t have the nerve to proceed with the case and the police have to abstain from serious action.”
Another officer, on condition of anonymity, said that the main reason behind the situation is that most of the programmes are organised in public places and they get stretched to the midnight flouting the recommendations of the Pollution Control Board and also High Court directives.