THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A 19-year-old recently called the police asking to help his family; his father used to be a card gambler. The latter spent nights at card gambling centres. Having lost interest in his job, the man began stealing money from his wife and selling jewellery on a daily basis, resulting in violent altercations at home. That's when his son took pictures of the gambling centre and the people involved in it, handed them over to the police station and helped track down the lawbreakers.
In another incident, a woman filed a complaint to the police saying her husband was addicted to gaming and had developed a violent behaviour. Though it isn't a new trend, gambling is on a steady rise in the city, say police officials. The capital city has been witnessing a crackdown on card gamblers after a steady rise increase in such incidents.
As many as 14 cases have been registered in 2019. An amount of Rs 4,89,585 was seized from Mannam Memorial Club on the Press Club Junction alone. Whereas, 2018 altogether witnessed only 17 cases from different parts of the city. The highest amount seized was Rs 27,000 from a flat at Gandhipuram in Sreekaryam, and six persons were arrested from the location, according to the city police commissionerate.
According to the city police commissioner, the raids are being conducted in various parts of the city with an objective of tightening the noose around lawbreakers as well as reducing and curtailing criminal activities in the city and its suburbs. "Whether it is in a public or private space, playing cards for money, that too in large amounts, is illegal. It has been brought to notice that rowdy sheeters and criminals congregate at bars and card gambling centres, often leading to drunken brawls and street fights. In addition to various crimes of kidnapping, people are also involved in extortion to settle financial scores in the games," said Kori Sanjaykumar Gurudin, the city police commissioner.
Recently, a resort employee from Thiruvallam called the police seeking help as the resort was a centre of card gambling. When violence and threatening became a regular scenario, the employee decided to call the police, a raid was consequently conducted and a lot of cash was recovered. According to psychologists in the city, card gambling is addictive. In the current scenario where we follow a stress life cycle, it could act as a stress buster.
When victory becomes a matter of pride and financially benefits the card gambler, the chances of getting addicted are high. Some people tend to lose their sense of reality and put trust in 'luck'. When things go wrong, they become aggressive and show violent behaviour.
Furthermore, sources in the police ensured the city police will continue taking action against such places including clubs where gaming is rampant. The police officials also plan to spread awareness regarding the ill-effects of card gambling.