Kerala Police is all set to start the complex task of identifying and registering lakhs of migrant labourers in the state. The move assumes significance in the wake of a huge increase in the number of labourers from other states in recent years and some of them getting involved in criminal activities.
"Police will start collecting details of unidentified persons in the state. They will be photographed and their address and other details collected. Once their antecedents are properly verified, they will be issued a registration number," Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said after a meeting with senior police officers.
There are an estimated 10 lakh migrant labourers in the state, Mr Radhakrishnan said, adding that the government's aim was to get their exact number. "The Labour Department has details of most of these people. However, the police register will help ensure better security for them and also help identify them for various welfare measures," he said.
Asked whether the chargesheet against two Italian marines, accused of killing two fishermen, will be filed within the 90-day period, Mr Radhakrishnan said "We are discussing this with our lawyers and will decide how to go about it as the matter is now before the Supreme Court." The Italian marines are in jail since February 19. A petition challenging their arrest is being considered by the Supreme Court.
"There are reports indicating the presence of Maoists in Kerala's jungles bordering Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The government is planning joint operations with forces in these states," Mr Radhakrishnan said. The Kerala government is also planning to constitute a state investigation bureau on the lines of the Central Bureau of Investigation and also a state industrial security force.
The Home Minister also said that police officers have been asked to desist from becoming members of social networking sites in their official capacities. This is to ensure that their code of conduct is strictly adhered to, Mr Radhakrishnan said.
Reacting to questions on the investigation into the brutal murder of former CPM activist TP Chandrashekaran, Mr Radhakrshnan said that the probe would be completed at the earliest.
"Please do not link the progress of the investigation to the upcoming assembly by-poll in Neyyattinkara," he replied, when asked about allegations by the CPM that the government is delaying the probe for political gains.