THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: State Police Chief Loknath Behera on Tuesday issued a directive to his officers to take stringent action against criminal gangs against the backdrop of the rise in violent incidents in Alappuzha district. His directive follows the murder of a youth at Haripad. Behera had visited Haripad to review the investigations into the murders carried out by gangs.

In a statement, Behera said a special control room has been opened at Karuvatta in Alappuzha district to prevent such incidents in future. Search has been launched to trace the anti-social elements and criminals involved.

On Tuesday, 138 criminals were arrested. The previous day, 308 criminals had been taken into custody as a preventive measure. Behera gave instructions to the respective range IGs to intensify round-the-clock patrolling in Alappuzha.

He also entrusted the Police Training College principal SP P Prakash with the task of taking action against criminal gangs.