Assembly witnessed heated exchanges, walkout speech interrupted, latest news, kerala news, india news, kerala assembly | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

Kerala Assembly | Photo: ANI

Thiruvananthapuram:The Kerala Assembly on Tuesday witnessed heated exchanges between the Congress-led opposition UDF and the ruling LDF over the issue of safety and security of women and children in the state in the wake of the recent sexual assault of an eight-year old girl in Ernakulam district.

The UDF contended that the state government, especially the Home department, and the police have “miserably failed” to ensure safety and security of women and children in the state.

The LDF countered the allegation, saying the police has taken stringent steps to catch the culprits and prevent the recurrence of such crimes.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was also irked by the opposition claim that the police was under the control of a “coterie” in the Home Department, which comes under him, and said the mental state of persons making such accusations needs to be examined.

The opposition, in a notice seeking adjournment of the House for discussing the issue of safety of women and children, contended that two incidents of sexual assault against minor girls occurred in Aluva in the space of one month indicated the alleged police failure to prevent crimes.

In the first incident, which occurred in the last week of July and shocked the conscience of the state, a five-year old girl — daughter of migrant labourers from Bihar — was sexually assaulted and killed and her body abandoned among waste near the Aluva market.

The accused — also a native of Bihar — was caught soon thereafter and he confessed to the crime, according to the police.

The second incident occurred last week when the eight-year-old daughter of migrant labourers, also from Bihar, was abducted from outside her home at night and sexually assaulted by a Kerala native who is an accused in several theft cases.

UDF MLA Anwar Sadath, who moved the notice, also questioned whether the Kerala CM, who holds the Home portfolio, was in control of the police or some “coterie”.

Countering the claims, Vijayan said the police have taken stringent action in all the cases and the culprits were caught and booked.

He contended that the crime investigation and maintenance of law and order in Kerala by the police was one of the best in the country and the same was a proud achievement for the state.

The CM was also irked by the allegations of the Home department being under the control of a coterie and said the mindset of people making such accusations needs to be examined.

Terming the recent incident of sexual assault of an eight-year old in Aluva as unforunate and shocking, Vijayan said steps were being taken to prevent recurrence of such offences and ensure the culprits do not escape the clutches of the law.

He said the incidents of attacks on life and property of citizens was being witnessed in other parts of the country and it was due to the actions of communal forces.

“We are not seeing the same here in Kerala due to the uncompromising stand of the government on such matters and the stringent action taken by it,” he claimed and said there was no need to adjourn the House to discuss the issue of women and child safety in the state as the police was doing a great job to ensure it.

He also said isolated incidents of crimes should not be projected as a rising trend.

Vijayan also listed out the various steps — like keeping track of migrant labourers’ antecedents and activities in the state, monitoring movement of strangers in residential localities as well as areas surrounding schools and increasing number of POCSO courts — taken by the government to ensure safety and security of women and children.

HIs contentions were rejected by the UDF with the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Assembly V D Satheesan alleging that the government and the police “miserably failed” to protect people and prevent crimes in the state.

Satheesan alleged that the police were ineffective and standing as mute spectators as criminals and drug mafias strengthened their hold on the state.

The LoP contended that the number of crimes against women and children was on the rise and neither the state government nor the police have the database of the offences committed, the culprits involved and the actions taken.

He said queries in the House regarding these data have been answered with the response that no records are available.

“If the police have no database, how will it prevent crimes? Is this your modern policing that you are so proud of? You have no crime records. Your police have failed to protect the life and property of the people. The public is afraid to venture out,” Satheesan alleged.

He also said there was not sufficient police patrolling in the state and some of the reasons for that given by the force were lack of adequate personnel and also funds for purchasing petrol for their vehicles.

The CM said the issue of strengthening patrolling would be considered along with increasing the strength of the police force, but rejected the allegation of lack of funds to purchase petrol.

The opposition leader said since the government was not taking any steps to address the issue of women and children safety in the state, his party was staging a walkout.

While Satheesan’s walkout speech was continuously interrupted by several Left Front MLAs and ministers, despite directions to not do so by Speaker A N Shamseer, IUML MLA P K Kunhalikutty was unable to make his submissions due to the uproar from the LDF side and therefore, he and his party members walked out without making a statement. PTI


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