KOCHI: The state government on Tuesday informed the Kerala High Court that the state police chief would convene a meeting of the police officers associated with the investigation into the case relating to the human trafficking through the Munambam coast, on March 20 at Thiruvananthapuram. The meeting will discuss further steps to be taken in the case.
The court had flayed the police for not invoking the offence of human trafficking in the case. The government informed that Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) (human trafficking) could be incorporated in the FIR only if these illegal emigrants were located and questioned.
The submission was made in response to the bail pleas of two accused in the case. The court posted the hearing of the case to Friday.
In a statement, the prosecution informed that despite the meticulous investigation and official communication with various Central and state agencies, the boat or the people who left the Munambam coast in the early hours of January 12, could not be located. Around 87 people, including women and children, were the occupants of the fishing boat. It could not be revealed so far whether these illegal emigrants were subject to any sort of coercion, exploitation and fraud.
The accused in the case were part of the gang led by Sreekanthan, who arranged the illegal emigration thorough the Arabian Sea on a fishing boat. The accused had collected `3 lakh from each passenger. The investigation conducted so far could not indicate that the passengers had been forced to join the venture. There was evidence to suggest the accused had violated the provisions of the Passport Act, Foreigner Act, Emigration Act and various provisions of the IPC.