On January 8, the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) issued a circular instructing the technical institutions to closely monitor the laboratories’ activities. The circular was issued following a police alert on suspected arms production on the pretext of curricular activities.
In the circular issued by the Director-in-charge TP Byjubai to the heads of the government technical institutions, the teachers and lab staff has been asked to keep a close eye on the activities at the laboratories.
Reports suggest that on December 21, the Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) TK Vinod Kumar submitted a report to the state government after receiving complaints that weapons were allegedly being manufactured at the Dhanuvachapuram Industrial Training Institute (ITI) near Parassala. The report stressed the possible risk to public safety and security and urged to be cautious about the activities, including illegal manufacturing of arms and ammunition in the college laboratories, for criminal activities.
ADGP also urged the state government to issue strict guidelines to ensure such activities do not happen in the laboratories of technical universities. As per the ETV Bharat report, a 20cm long sword was being made in a laboratory.
Notably, the circular did not specify which organisation was allegedly involved in manufacturing weapons. However, a Mangalam report suggested the weapons were manufactured using the electronics department laboratory in technical educational institutes.
The circular that was issued in Malayalam read, “According to the letter of indication, the government has informed that the Additional Director General of Police has reported that weapons are being manufactured under the guise of lab activities being conducted as part of the curriculum work experience in government educational institutions. In the above situation, the teachers and lab staff should have a proper observation on the lab-related subjects of the students, and the head of the institution should pay special attention to these subjects.” (Translated using Google Translate)
Notably, in July 2022, it was reported that now-banned organisation Popular Front of India (PFI) students were allegedly forging swords in Kerala ITI. A Hindupost report suggested that the students allegedly made weapons inside the Neyyatinkara Dhanuvachhapuram ITI Campus in the Thiruvananthapuram district. The students linked to the Students Federation of India (SFI) and CPM’s student wing allegedly turned the study room into a weapon forging lab. Reports suggested that students wearing fitter trade uniforms were found forging two-feet long double-edged swords in the practical lab.
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