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Crimes dent Kerala's image

Wednesday, 4 December 2013 - 10:15am IST | Place: THIRUVANANTHAPURAM | Agency: DNA
Rape of a Bangalore IT pro at a resort the latest blot.

Arrest of two resort employee on Tuesday in connection with the rape of a Bangalore-based IT professional at the plush Poovar Island Resort on an islet off Thiruvananthapuram city on November 27,  killing of a tourist by a resort owner and his son at Varkala, known for its pristine beaches, nearly a month back and similar incidents in the recent past, have busted the myth that Kerala is a trouble-free destination.

Lucky Nath and Berso Nagam, both from Assam, have been nabbed as the DNA of body fluids and hair follicles collected from the room of the 41-year old victim’s room in the resort, matched with theirs. Police were awaiting the forensic reports of serological evidences to zero in on the assailants.

Police said that when she went out, the duo had removed the bolts on the room’s door. Late in the night, they entered the room, Lucky Nath held her to the bed and Berso Nagam raped her.      

The investigation into the rape incident exposed the abysmally inadequate security measures at the five-star resort.

Poovar Island Resort is spread over 18 acres in an uninhabited islet. The 78-room resort has CCTV coverage only in the main wing.  Because of this security flaw, police were initially clueless on the rapists.

Hailing from West Bengal, the victim works with an MNC, came to the city with a group of colleagues for an official assignment.

In fact, say the police, there is no agency in the state to check the security system at resorts, hotels and home stays. Worse, many of them are located in isolated hilly or coastal areas. Adding insult to injury, they engage migrant workers from North East, Assam, Bengal and Orissa without checking their credentials, despite repeated warnings from the authorities in the wake of many criminal offences. The minor incidents go unreported as the migrant workers involved in the incidents might not have been registered with the Labour Department.

In another shocking incident unveiling the rude treatment met out by the hospitality sector to guests, a resort owner and his son killed a tourist following a brawl for a match box.

According to the police, Sooryanarayanan from Tirupur in Tamil Nadu with his two friends dropped in Marine Beach Resort on Varkala beach for having fruit juice in the afternoon of November 5. One of the guests asked for a match box to light a cigarette. A spat on it snowballed into a fisticuff between the resort owner Ahammed and the guests. In a fit of rage, Ahammmed and his son Salim threw Sooryanarayan down from the hillock where the resort perches on, killing him instantly.

Security not priority at houseboats
Houseboats, the main attraction of Kerala, give not even a scant attention to safety aspects.  Catching fire from their kitchens, drowning mainly following boozing aboard and capsising are very frequent. Only when there is loss of life, the police will move. 

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