Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government Sunday said national and international drug mafia rings are looking at the state as a “fertile ground” for their operations and pledged not to spare anyone involved in drug trafficking.
The government’s reaction came a day after Malayalam actor Shine Tom Chacko and four women were taken into custody in Kochi for possessing cocaine valued at Rs.1 million in international market.
“National and even international drug mafia are looking towards Kerala as a fertile ground for their operations. We are putting up a strong fight against such elements and we will not spare anyone who is part of this,” Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala told.
The mafia rings are eyeing Kerala because of its tourist potential, he added.
Chennithala said his ministry was going ahead with conducting massive awareness campaigns in educational institutions.
“We have already launched a massive campaign ‘Safe Campus Clean Campus’ and it is a two-pronged strategy which includes awareness and police action. What we saw yesterday (Saturday) was police action and this will continue very strongly. Law breakers will be taken to task,” the minister said.
“Last week, we got together 60,000 students in Kollam district as part of our awareness drive in our fight against all forms of substance abuse. Similar programmes would be held in all districts,” he said.
B. Unnikrishnan, a director and general secretary of the Film Employees Federation of Kerala, told IANS that what happened with the arrest of the actor should not be taken to generalise issues.
“I do not think there is any need for even a caution because we have a very responsible film industry. One stray case has happened and it’s too early from any quarter to make sweeping statements about the film industry here,” said Unnikrishnan.