State Police warns against terrorist tenants

via www.newindpress.com published on April 29, 2007

T’PURAM: Think a moment before you rent out your house or sell your vehicle. It might end up in the hands of terrorists who are striving to make inroads into the state.

The warning has been issued by the State Police following a directive from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

In a public notice issued on its website ‘keralapolice.org’, the State Police have urged house owners to verify the identity of tenants before handing over their houses to them. Vehicle owners are also urged to verify the identity of the buyer before selling the vehicle.

IG State Crime Records Bureau Anilkanth said that the notice was published on the basis of a directive from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

‘‘There have been several instances throughout the country of terrorists staying for considerable lengths of time in rented accommodation, posing as ordinary law-abiding citizens. In other instances they used second hand vehicles in their crimes, including acts of terrorism,’’ says the notice issued by the police.

‘‘Though no such incidents have been reported in the state so far, it is better that precautions are taken, especially in the wake of reports that the state is becoming prone to terrorist activity,” said an official of the Police Intelligence Wing.

The public notice further reads: ‘‘It is felt that those taking houses on rent were able to stay there for a long time because the landlords had not seriously enquired into their antecedents.’’

The notice says that while the government is fully aware that a prospective landlord or seller of a used vehicle would find it difficult to conduct a thorough inquiry into the character and antecedents of his prospective tenant or buyer, the fact remains that if they ask even some elementary questions about the person’s background and reasons for wanting the house or car, and request the production of some form of identification, that would have some deterrent value and terrorists would not be able to access houses and vehicles so easily.

‘‘The government therefore considers it necessary to advise all members of the public that they should, as far as possible, conduct some pre-verification as described above in respect of their tenants or buyers,’’ says the notice.

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