Insult to foreign tourist at Kovalam: Grade SI suspended after CM's intervention

Kovalam: The state government suspended a policeman for allegedly insulting a foreigner who went to his residence carrying alcohol on New Year's Eve. In response to the incident, Grade SI of Kovalam police station has been suspended. As per initial findings, it was the fault of the police officers to detain a foreigner despite recognizing that he had purchased liquor from the Beverages outlet. The probe was initiated on the instructions of DGP Anil Kant.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had also sought a report from the DGP on the incident. Following this, Anil Kant instructed the officers to immediately investigate into the incident and file a report.

Earlier, Tourism Minister PA Mohammad Riyas has lashed out against the police for their behaviour towards a foreigner. Minister said that the action of the police is unfortunate and it is not in line with the government policy. Such an approach by the police would be a major setback for tourism sector, he added.

Stephen Osborg, 68, a Swedish man who had been staying at a private hotel in Kovalam for four years, was stopped by Kovalam police. The incident took place on Friday afternoon near Suicide Point on the way to Kovalam beach. Following this, a video of the incident shot by some onlookers went viral in social media.

During inspection, Police saw three liquor bottles and sought the bill. However, he replied that he did not carry the bill. Police took a stringent stance that he will not be allowed to possess the bottles without bill. Following this, a verbal spat took place between the police and Steve.

Irked over the matter, Steve emptied one of the bottles on the roadside. As the happenings were captured by the onlookers, the police then changed the stance and informed Steve that he does not have to dispose liquor. They said he only has to submit the bill. To prove his innocence, Steve returned to the outlet, collected the bill and showed it to the police.

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