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Kerala: Governor Announces First Ever Sex Offenders Registry

The Kerala government will launch a registry of sex offenders, the first of its kind in the country, Governor Justice (Retd) P Sathasivam said in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday. However, P Sathasivam did not clarify if they would put in the names after a conviction or after a case is registered. 

The registry will contain all identification details of sex offenders and would be kept in public domain, he said while detailing plans to check atrocities against women in the state. “It will be the first in the country,” he added.

He said that the reason for taking such a such step was to ensure the safety of women. “To ensure deterrence, my government will set up a sex offenders’ registry, which will maintain all identification details of sex offenders. It will be kept in the public domain,” Sathasivam said while delivering the policy address speech on the opening day of the Budget session in the Kerala Assembly.

Besides, Sathasivam said that a comprehensive victim relief fund and a special department for women’s safety will be formed.

The governor’s announcements come almost a week after Kerala condemned the abduction and the alleged molestation of a popular film personality. The incident took place on February 17 when the actor was on her way from Thrissur to Kochi. A gang of men waylaid her car at Athani in Angamaly, they forced their way into the car, took over control and drove around for at least two hours. She told the police that her abductors sexually assaulted her and took photos of her with the intention of using them to blackmail her later. They stopped the car at Palarivattom and fled the scene.

Until now, the police have arrested three people in connection with the case. The main accused in the case, the actor’s former driver, was taken into custody after the incident while two more were arrested on Saturday. The police are looking for six other people.

The Kerala Governor said that the increasing immunity of sex offenders due to lack of social deterrence was a growing concern all over the country.  And he has a point. Hence, this unprecedented move.