SP finally lifts the lid on illegal homestays

Superintendent of Police Varthika Katiyar said in an incident held in a homestay in Madikeri recently, fake police had carried out illegal activities and blackmailing.

She was responding to the issue on illegal activities in homestays in Kodagu district, which was subject to serious and elaborate discussion at the progress review meeting of Karnataka Legislative assembly committee on welfare of women and children, conducted by the committee chairperson Shakunthala T Shetty, at Fort Hall in Madikeri on Thursday.

Actor and member of Karnataka legislative assembly committee on welfare of women and children, Jayamala, who raised the issue, alleged that illegal activities have been on rise in the homestays in Kodagu and asked the Superintendent of Police on the measures taken to combat the same.

Replying to it, the SP said “In an incident occurred in a home stay in Madikeri, two businessmen from Kerala had arrived at the home stay, with wrong intentions. Two men, who came in the police uniform, claimed themselves as police officers and beat up the two businessmen. The fake policemen robbed them off by blackmailing them after capturing nude photographs of the two businessmen, with the ladies at the homestay.”
A case has been registered in this regard and the investigations are on. All the accused will be arrested soon, she said.

Unclear policy

Varthika Katiyar further said homestays have been mushrooming in the district and many of them have been converted as the centres of illegal activities. She added that the government policy on homestays, has not been clear enough.

It may be recalled that the SP had refused to respond to the media, on the incident which took place a few days ago where an incident of illegal  activities and attack by fake police was held at a homestay belonging to a coffee estate owner in Haleri village, 13 km away from Madikeri.

Posing an objection to the reply by the SP, Deputy Commissioner Anurag Tewari said there is enough room in the law to initiate actions against illegal homestays.
Also, IPC and Karnataka Police Act speak on actions against illegal homestays. But, they are poorly implemented, he said. The DC further said the government has also formed a policy on homestays and has laid regulations on the same. Stringent actions must be initiated on those who violate the rules. But, unfortunately this is not happening, he said.

Responding to the remarks by the DC, the Superintendent of Police said that she has placed a request before the Home minister and Kodagu district in-charge minister K J George to form strict regulations to control illegal activities in homestays. Also, committee member S V Sankanur said that the committee will bring the issue on home stays, to the notice of the government.

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