Kochi police arrested 115

115 people have been arrested in Kochi, India, for running gambling centres.

Even after police warnings and government restrictions on public gatherings due to Covid-19, there has been an increase in card game gambling centres across many rural parts of the district.

On August 20, a person was killed in a fight at a wagering centre in Manjapra near Kalady, prompting the crackdown. Five people were arrested as a result of the subsequent murder investigation. Furthermore, it was discovered that over 200 gambling centres are now believed to be operating within Ernakulam Rural police's jurisdiction, with Chief K Karthick urging the public to report any such activities to the authorities.

People from surrounding districts are also thought to frequent such centres, raising concerns about travel in the midst of the pandemic.

In numerous parts of the district, the police have begun cracking down on centres that organise card game gambling. Despite the ban on public gatherings imposed by Covid, the authorities discovered that several card game gambling centres are now operating in the district's rural areas.

We could identify around 270 gambling centres in the district and raids were conducted in the last three days. Cases have been registered against 115 persons in Aluva, Perumbavoor, Muvattupuzha, Puthencruz and Munambam police station limits alone. Cash worth over Rs 1.25 lakh was seized from these centres.  Fights at these gambling centres are regular, causing nuisance to local residents. We urge the public to inform the police of any such illegal activities occurring in their neighborhood

K Karthick, Ernakulam Rural police chief told PTI

An officer said that even people from other districts frequent these gambling centres and spend lakhs on gambling. 

We have come to know that these gambling centres mushroomed after the lockdown. These games are mostly hosted in interior areas which are not easily accessible to the police. The persons running these centres provide all facilities, including food and liquor. In some cases, card game gambling is held at rented houses

an Ernakulam Rural officer stated