Kerala Goonda Act Minus Shoot-at-sight Clause

Thiruvananthapuram, June 28 | Updated: Jun 30 2004, 04:10am hrs
Kerala will go for anti-goonda legislation, but will steer clear of the shoot-at-sight provision operative at several States. A Bill on this lines was in active consideration, according to Chief Minister AK Antony.

Business was as much guilty of fostering organised crime gangs as political outfits, Mr Antony told the State Assembly on Monday. Anti-social elements groomed by hire-purchase firms in the State have been proving so much of insecurity to civic life that the Kerala government had no option but to go for a legislation to strengthen the police hands.

At the same time, given the socio-political fabric of Kerala, my government cannot allow shoot-at-sight provision against goondas as in other States, Mr Antony, who hold the home portfolio, said in reply to a question.

Meanwhile, the business and political patrons of goondas should end this phenomenon, he warned.

From this month, a special drive against goondas will be set in motion in response to attacks by anti-social elements reported from various parts of the State. The State had been rocked by a series of attacks, some even gruesome murders of civilians, often, caught off-guard. Kochi, its business heartland, is also in the recent times described as the hub of criminal activities.

Facilities for police force and staff-strength will be stepped up. Vigilance raids will not spare police department, the Chief Minister said.