Panoor: Police is donning a different hat in the 'highly volatile' Panoor area in Kannur district in Kerala to wean youth away from political violence by coaching them for competitive examinations and help them turn over a new leaf.
Panoor often witnessed violence among CPI(M), BJP and RSS workers clashing with one another.
To put an end to the violence, police here began the 'Insight' project for the youth in Panoor and nearby areas where police had recorded 21 cases of riots in 2017.
The 'Insight', the brainchild of Panoor circle inspector Benny V V, has been instrumental in providing advanced coaching classes for youngsters who lack a permanent income.
"We wanted to find the root-cause of political violence and learnt lack of education or a proper job was the reason, hence we started the classes," Benny told PTI Monday.
Roping in civil society, the 'Janamaithri' (community policing) police have been coaching at 20 centres in Panoor police station limits where teachers, retired government officials, engineers and other members of society provide classes free of cost.
"We have been providing coaching for various examinations, including those being conducted by Public Service Commission and paramilitary forces and even provide physical education training for the aspirants," he said.
As of now, around 250 youngsters from this area have applied for the paramilitary forces, of which around 40-45 are women," Benney said.
Within a year, over half-a-dozen people have been enlisted in various departments, including in Excise, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and many more.
Since the coaching was being given by prominent members of civil society and the centres being provided by the various youth clubs and societies, the expense incurred for this initiative was not much, he said
"We provide rank files and periodicals which are being sponsored," the circle inspector said.
He claimed that the 21 riot cases registered in 2017 has been reduced to four in 2018.
There were six attempt-to-murder cases in 2017 which came down to two the following year.
What was painful was that some of the aspirants have dropped out of the project for want of patience, the official said.
"Competitive examinations are quite hard to crack. We need dedication and coaching to qualify for them. We are also trying to bring back those who have dropped out," Benny said.