THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government would take stern action to prevent the sale of illicit or spurious liquor in the state during the Onam season, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said on Thursday.
“There are reports that the spirit lobbies are active in some parts of the state. The Departments of Police and Excise have been asked to conduct joint drives to prevent the smuggling of illicit liquor or spirit into the state and brewing of country liquor,” he told reporters after convening a meeting of top cops here.
The meeting also reviewed the three special drives of the police - ‘Operation Kubera’ against illegal money lenders, ‘Clean Campus Safe Campus’ against drug abuse among students and ‘Operation Suraksha’ to curb goonda and mafia gangs.
According to the State Crime Records Bureau (SCRB), a 30 per cent decrease was witnessed in the number of crimes since ‘Operation Suraksha’ began, compared to the previous year’s figures.
“A total of 9,495 people were arrested as part of the drive, which will continue as goonda and hired assassins are still active in some parts of the state. The second phase of ‘Operation Kubera’ is progressing well and the blade mafias are now resorting to clandestine operations. The police special branch has been asked to report on such money lenders,” he said.
The minister said that money lenders or NBFCs not violating rules would not be harassed. But, action would be taken if complaints were received. The Registration and Cooperation Ministers would be consulted to act upon chit fund companies which violated rules.
The police, education and health departments would continue the ‘Clean Campus Safe Campus’ activities. Drug abuse had increased three-fold since the liquor ban and the majority of the victims were youths, he said.
The minister said that 500 traffic surveillance cameras would be installed in major roads in the state in addition to the existing 600. The PWD would be asked to renovate roads with frequent accident spots. A traffic awareness park would be set up in the capital for students.
Chennithala said he had asked State Police Chief T P Senkumar to submit a report on the corruption allegations in the e-beat programme of the police. Senkumar, who was present at the briefing, said the project was hit by the non-availability of a specified computer server.
The SPC said he would also look into the other purchases conducted as part of the modernisation programme of the police.
The minister said that vehicle checking by the police was essential to prevent anti-social activities like transportation of contraband. “But, they have been asked to do it in a proper and decent manner. There has been a positive change after Senkumar’s recent directive to the force,” he said.