Kerala Police in quandary as top brass trolled for links with fake antique seller

Apart from ridiculing comments, serious ones raising concern over the credibility of the state police force have also gone viral
Last Updated 29 September 2021, 16:55 IST

The cyber wing of the Kerala Police, known for its high alertness against unlawful social media trolling and cyberbullying, is now caught in a quandary as their bosses have become subject of troll over their nexus with fake antique merchant Monson Mavunkal.

Memes ridiculing the police and pictures of senior officers with the accused at his "house-turned-antique museum" are being widely circulated by trollers. Apart from ridiculing comments, serious ones raising concern over the credibility of the state police force have also gone viral.

Incidentally, the widely circulated pictures are of former state police chief Loknath Behera and ADGP (Headquarters) Manoj Abraham, who had played key roles in enhancing the cyber wings of the Kerala Police by setting up new wings like Cyberdome. While Behera is seen sitting on an 'antique' throne, Abraham is posing with an 'antique' sword. Mavunkal had misused the pictures of prominent personalities at his museum for endorsing his so-called genuine artefacts.

A former DIG and family celebrating Vishu at Mavunkal's house and the accused posing with many senior police officers, including present state police chief Anil Kant, are some of the pictures being widely circulated.

The help extended by senior police officers to probe beat police patrolling surveillance to Mavunkal's "museum" in Kochi and attempts to sabotage the investigation against him were the other serious charges levelled against the police.

A senior police officer of the cyber unit told DH that the police could act against the trolls only if there are any offensive comments or manipulations in pictures. So far no such instance has been noticed.

According to sources, the senior police officers were reportedly taken for a ride by Mavunkal and were carried away by his fake antique collection.

Despite the police facing widespread criticism in the social media, the state's main opposition party Congress-led United Democratic Front, is yet to launch an aggressive attack against the Left Front government over the issue as Congress state president K Sudhakaran himself is caught up in links with the accused. The BJP state leadership demanded a probe against the police officers.

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(Published 29 September 2021, 16:55 IST)

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