Kerala police resume special drive to nab criminal gang members

The police sources said the special drive will continue for 10 days.
Representative image
Representative image

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Goaded by a surge in violent crimes fuelled by drug abuse, the state police on Wednesday launched the next phase of Operation AAG and D-Hunt. Operation AAG has been launched to crackdown on the criminal gangs operating in the state, while D-Hunt will target drug offenders. The police sources said the special drive will continue for 10 days.

“Both the drives have been launched after several incidents of violence were reported in the state in the recent past, including the murder at Karamana. The murder was committed by the accused under the influence of drugs. So, a strong interplay between drug abuse and heinous crimes is evident,” said a senior cop.

As part of the drives in Thiruvananthapuram city, raids were held in various places, including Karamana, Nemom and Kovalam. One person each, who has connections with criminal gangs, was arrested from Nemom and Kovalam police station limits. The raids were also held in Melarannoor, Karamana, and Kaakkamoola areas on Wednesday.

The police target pre-identified crime hotspots for inspections. Habitual offenders, who are now on bail, were summoned by the Station House Officers (SHO) to check their current status. The police have also prepared a list of criminals to be detained under the Kerala Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act (KAAPA). Deputy Commissioner Nidhinraj told TNIE that the operation is a comprehensive effort to identify and apprehend troublemakers and their associates.

‘Action Against Gunda’ (AAG) aims to dismantle the networks supporting these criminals, including their funding sources and supply chains, and identify associated individuals. “Though AAG has been operational for quite a while, the recent spike in gang attacks necessitated immediate action. We have arrested Akhildev, a habitual offender, under KAAPA and are currently investigating his connections and areas of influence,” said Nidhinraj.

On Tuesday night, a four-member goonda gang at Amboor in Vellarada attacked three persons in a span of just two hours. The gang, including a minor, attacked a pastor, a woman employed at Consumerfed and her husband.

The 17-year-old accused has landed in police custody. The cops are in search of the minor’s brother and their friend Jithu. The incident took place around 9 pm. Local residents have alleged that the police did not intervene in the attacks though the violence lasted for two hours. Four persons, who came in three bikes, blocked the road and attacked those who travelled on the stretch. Last week, an armed gang hacked to death Akhil, a fish vendor in Karamana, owing to a gang war.

Raids held at houses of habitual offenders

In Thiruvananthapuram, raids were carried out by a 250-member team at the residences of about 60 habitual offenders. According to the statement issued by the City Commissioner, weapons and drugs were recovered from some of the houses. Akhil Dev of Kalliyoor, who is a habitual offender, was arrested for moving in to his native place flouting rules. He was arrested and remanded in judicial custody. Sreejith and Sajad, two habitual offenders, were arrested from Vizhinjam and Beemapally, respectively.

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