In an unusual move, Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau officials on Tuesday conducted a lightning raid on numerous police stations in Kerala. The secret operation, conducted on Tuesday and expected to continue in the following days, was called Operation Thunder.
As reported by Mathrubhumi, 21 police stations in Thiruvananthapuram and a total of 53 police stations all over Kerala were searched in the raid. The raid was conducted after Vigilance director BS Mohammed Yasin received tip-offs regarding an illegal nexus between sand and quarry mafia outfits and police stations in various areas, reported the Times of India.
The raid turned up irregularities in several police stations. According to ToI, in stations like Karunagappally, Payyoli and Kozhikode Town, irregularities were found in the amounts of cash recorded and kept by police. It was also found that illegal sand mining activities were not being recorded and investigated by the police in various police stations. The operation also uncovered that illegal sand mining continues in Poozhikkadavu, which falls under Kumbala station limits.
In Mepadi in Wayanad, it was found that there were three money-transaction cases that had seen no police action for close to a year, reported Deccan Chronicle.
According to the New Indian Express, toddy samples collected by police were also missing. The operation also found that in some police stations, no sand mining activities had been recorded since 2012. Several more such irregularities, including irregularities in records maintained, were uncovered in various police stations.
ToI reported that in Alappuzha North and Mavelikkara police stations, in many cases, required documents were listed as pending for extending periods, allegedly to allow police officers to collect bribes.
Investigations into links between police and sand and quarry mafia outfits will continue in the coming days. According to Mathrubhumi, it is usual for vigilance to conduct raids but is highly unusual to see such a widely cast and comprehensive raid on the police force itself.