The Congress-led UDF Opposition today staged a walkout in the Kerala Assembly after its demand for discussing alleged “goons-police-politicians nexus” in the state was rejected.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said a special police team would probe into the charges, but Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan disallowed a discussion on the issue, following which the Opposition members staged a walkout.
Replying to a notice seeking an adjournment motion on the increase in the number of cases involving ‘political’ goons intimidating people, Vijayan said the government viewed the matter “very seriously”.
“There is a section of people who indulge in extortion racket,” he said asserting that the government would not give protection to those people just because they side with a particular party.
He was referring to the charge of P T Thomas (Congress), who moved the notice for the motion, that some of the goons were getting the support of certain CPI-M leaders in Kochi.
Stating that the government was committed to taking stern action against mafia groups indulging in organised crime and extortion, Vijayan said, “The LDF is ready to probe the issue by a special police team.”
A total of 87 persons had been charged under the Kerala Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act 2007 after the LDF government came to power, he said.
“There is no politics in this. The government’s aim is to ensure protection to citizens,” he said.
The Chief Minister also rejected the charge of UDF that the law and order in the state had collapsed.
On the Opposition’s demand for the transfer of Central Range IG S Sreejith for his alleged links with goons, Vijayan said “evidence is necessary for that.”
The Opposition also brought to the notice of the House the alleged threatening and intimidation of a woman by a group of “anti-social elements” as well as an attack on a used car showroom in Kochi recently.
Thomas alleged that goons had the support of local CPI-M leaders and also a section of police.
Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala alleged that “quotation groups” were using the name of ruling CPI-M and so police were unable to act effectively. Quotation groups are the ‘Supari’ gangs in the state who are paid to extort, kill, intimidate or recover.
Indian Union Muslim League leader (IUML) and former minister P K Kunhalikutty said the government should take stern action against police officials who misuse their power.
“Effort is there to intimidate people by naming them as terrorists,” he said.
Calling for stern action against terrorism, he said “Campaigns by some religious outfits are also on to attract youths to terrorism.”