Congress-led UDF opposition members in Kerala today staged a walk-out in the state assembly, protesting against the LDF government’s refusal to discuss the alleged collapse of law and order situation in the state, even as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan rejected the charges.
Replying to the notice for an adjournment motion, moved by the Opposition, over the issue, Vijayan said the opposition charges were baseless and they were raising false charges.
Giving details of various steps taken by the government to regulate goons and mafia gangs, he said action has been initiated against 171 persons under the Kerala Anti-social Prevention Act (KAPA) in the last nine month, after the CPI(M)-led LDF government came into power.
“We have taken stringent measures against goons and mafia gangs. After this government came into power, an anti-goonda squad led by a police superintend was formed to regulate such criminals,” Vijayan said.
Praising the police force, he said police personnel had showcased commendable job in these months and they were able to nab criminals, accused in various cases, in a speedy manner.Police took strong action especially in cases like extortion, manhandling, political murders and attacks against women and children, he said.
Defending opposition’s charges that about 1,75,000 crime cases had been registered after this government came into power, Chief Minister said the number of cases has increased as the police stations have become more people-friendly.
Vijayan also rejected the allegation that the government was planning to give remission to 1850 prisoners as part of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the state formation.
“The allegation is completely baseless. The decision to give remission to selected prisoners was taken as per the existing guidelines. No hardcore criminals will be given any remission,” he said.
Culprits involved in cases connected with national security, drug trafficking, found guilty under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and those accused in crimes against women and children would not be given any exemption.
Rejecting the Chief Minister’s claim that there was no law and order issues in the state worth to be discussed on the floor, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said Kerala is under the grip of ‘goonda raj’ and the crime rate has shot up in the last nine months.
“Law and order has collapsed in the state. Public life has become miserable due to the thriving of criminals. Police is inactive. But Chief Minister is justifying the police’s inaction,” he said.
He also accused the government of protecting criminals and giving political protection to anti-socials and quotation gangs.
After the reply of Chief Minister, Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan refused leave for the motion, following which UDF members trooped out of the House.
Lone BJP member O Rajagopal and Kerala Congress (M)-led by former finance minister K M Mani also walked out in protest against the government’s refusal to take up the matter.
(With inputs from PTI)