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Woes of two fledgling forces

Anand Haridas

The change of guard at the helm has taken the wind off the sails of two innovative projects taken up by the police force in the city. Almost eight months since its inception, everybody seems to have lost interest in the Tourism Police, while the Kerala Marines is still waiting to take off three months after its inauguration.

Failed promises

Right from the beginning, the members of the Tourism Police squad had been complaining about their uniform. "We have received some complaints that the force is being confused with ordinary security staff due to their uniform. We are working on that," was all the new City Police Commissioner, Dinendra Kashyap, could say about the personnel deployed at three points in the city. A full-fledged aid post, complete with communication systems and a toilet, was one of the promises made by the then Deputy Inspector General of Police, B.S. Mohammed Yasin.

Nothing has happened till date, including the promise of a specialised training in Singapore. The situation is compounded by the fact that contrary to the initial promises, the tourism police personnel are now assigned night duties and are part of the routine patrol.

Dejected, they have prepared a representation to be given to the new heads. One of the main demands raised in this representation would be to make tourism police a separate wing and taking it closer to the Department of Tourism.

For want of boats

The Kerala Marines, inaugurated on April 1, with a view to policing the shores of the State remains an apology of a force.

"Even though we had placed a request for five sea-going boats, the Government is yet to respond," says DIG, Ernakulam Range, R. Sreelekha.

The territory of Kerala Marines was set as 12 nautical miles into the ocean, from where the Coast Guard takes over.

Right now, the force has only a speedboat and a water-scooter with which they can patrol only the backwaters.

Even these have not been handed over, as its officers are trying to release the official permit for kerosene.

The original request was for a permit to avail 1500 litres of kerosene per month, and it is learnt that the Commissioner of Civil Supplies has sanctioned a permit for 650 litres.

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