Police will now actively inspect the licences of Ayurveda and Yoga centres, drug pedlars will also come under the scanner.

Month on since Latvian womans rape and murder Kerala DGP orders revamp of security
news Security Monday, May 21, 2018 - 18:10

In view of the horrific sexual assault and murder of Latvian tourist Liga Skromane in Kerala recently, state police chief Loknath Behera has announced a raft of measures, to enhance security for tourists visiting the state.

Kerala was one of the first states to have opened a specialised Tourism Police Wing, at its major tourist centres. However, these were not fully functional and the order demands that these be made fully functional by June 15. If necessary, more staff will be given training and employed under the respective district police departments. Newly recruited women police officers, will be trained and deployed to the Tourism Wing.

The DGP also mentioned that the local self-government bodies, other departments, restaurants and auto-taxi drivers will be asked to cooperate to facilitate the process of enhancing safety for the incoming tourists; while at the same time, this should be done without interfering with the privacy of the tourists.

A major step in the process is to install CCTV cameras with the aid of local self-government bodies and the tourism department. Information regarding the tourists who check in, into the hotels must be provided to the police on a daily basis henceforth, by the hotel management. 

“Any enquiry from the police department’s side, related to criminal activities should be done without affecting tourists”, the order by the DGP reads.

There has been a mushrooming of Yoga-Ayurveda centres in the state; if found illegal they will be shut down. Police will closely survey for the presence of anti-social elements with regard to activities like drug sale, prostitution or other criminal activities. All information of individuals indulging in such activities must be reported by the Station House Officers (SHOs).

Street vendors have to register themselves in the police stations using valid Identification proofs. Those who fail to do so, will not be allowed to trade or interact with the tourists, without the permit of the police or tourist-aid centres. Police have also proposed new uniforms with a ‘licenced trader’ badge, to be made compulsory for street vendors.  

With the help of the local residents, auto and taxi drivers, a system will be put in place that provides specific information required by the police. This is to ensure their active participation in the security process.

For better communication with tourists from abroad as well as other Indian states, it will be ensured that there are officers who can speak in English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada or Hindi, in the police stations in major tourist centres.

Khaki uniform will be made available for the Tourism Police, and more officers will be deployed from the battalion in the peak seasons. They will be given special powers to investigate, in case of suspicion of drugs sale.

A mobile app will also be introduced for enabling interaction with the Tourism Police. Pamphlets containing information (procured by the police or through other reliable departments) of licenced guides, hotels, Ayurveda centres, adjacent hospitals, tourist destinations and similar information will be provided to the tourists as they arrive at the airports, railway stations or bus stands.

The order states that a friendly environment should be maintained in the police stations in major tourist hubs. Classes will be held for all the officials in the Tourism Police Wing, to improve their communication and interaction skills. The chief also mentioned in the order that the officers should hold regular review meetings with the SHOs, for ensuring safety of the tourists.

In a crime that sent shock waves across the state, Liga was raped and her headless body was discovered on April 20 in a mangrove at Thiruvallam in Thiruvananthapuram, more than a month after she went missing. She had come with her sister to Kerala in February, for getting Ayurdevic treatment for depression and had gone missing on March 14.


Read: 'Going home with her ashes': How a vacation turned into a tragedy for 2 Latvian sisters

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