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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 28 May 2024 1.10 AM IST

Visuals of Police misconduct on Pooram Ground out; serious flaws, says special branch report

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THRISSUR: Footage of Thrissur City Police Commissioner Ankit Asokan stopping the umbrellas for Kudamattam and palm tree leaves brought for the elephants during Thrissur Pooram is out. In the footage, the commissioner is shouting, "Take the leaves and leave" The footage also shows the police blocking the umbrellas brought inside the gopuram before the Kudamattam. As the protest got stronger, they were admitted inside.

The police had started strict control on the night before Pooram itself. There was a complaint that the commissioner was directly in front of the festival goers to shout and push them during Madathil Varavu. There was an altercation with the police and Devaswom officials inside the temple when Thiruvampadi Bhagwati was brought out for procession.

At the same time, the special branch gave a report showing that there was a serious lapse by the Commissioner. The report is that Pooram was destroyed by the police itself. According to the report, the Commissioner took arbitrary decisions and did not take the opinion of the experts. The Commissioner's lack of accurate knowledge about Pooram management, unnecessary control, non-cooperation with officials, strictness in procedures, insolent response to Devaswom officials and locals, and lack of experienced senior officials are all mentioned in the report.

Policemen without knowing their duty

Around 3500 policemen, including officers from other districts, were there on Pooram duty. Usually, a special meeting will be held for the police regarding security arrangements but this time it was held only for the higher officials. Therefore, others did not even know where their assigned duty was. It is reported that most of them did not even sign the duty book. The ceremonies and timings are usually informed in advance to the policemen coming from other districts. Duty will be given accordingly. The problem was that none of this was done this time. In the past, the duties were divided into zones under DYSP.

Commissioner may be transferred

Action including transfer may be taken against City Police Commissioner Ankit Ashoka for the excessive restrictions including swinging lathi at the Pooram lovers and barricading the Pooram ground to restrict them. Action will be taken after a departmental inquiry. The permission of the Election Commission will be sought for this. The action will be taken after the election code of conduct is withdrawn. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan stated that the incident has been taken seriously and the DGP has been tasked with investigating the complaint of the Devaswams. It has been alleged that other responsible officials did not provide the necessary information to the commissioner and contributed to the problem.

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