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Adani Kerala sea port: 3,000 booked over police station attack at Vizhinjam

Mangalore Today News Network

Thiruvanantapuram, Nov 28, 2022: The Kerala Police Monday registered a case against 3,000 identifiable persons in connection with the fishermen’s attack Sunday night on a police station at Vizhinjam, where they have been protesting against Adani Group’s Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited.



As many as 36 policemen and around 20 agitators were injured in the violence, which rocked the Vizhinjam region on Sunday night.

The FIR stated that 3,000 people laid siege to the police station, held the officials hostage for several hours, vandalised the furniture and damaged several vehicles parked on the premises of the station. It said the protesters wanted to release five men who were taken into custody over Saturday’s violence and threatened to torch the policemen alive if they were not released. The police department incurred a loss of Rs 85 lakh from the attack, the FIR said.

Kerala Port Development Minister Ahamed Devarkovil said an all-party meeting would be held on Monday. “The district collector was asked to convene an all-party meeting to ensure peace in the region. He would also hold discussions with the agitators. The issue is coming up before the high court on Monday. The government would also consider the outcome from the high court before deciding further action. The agitators had given an assurance at the high court that they would not obstruct the construction. Now, that assurance to the court has been breached,’’ he said.

ADGP M R Ajit Kumar said the situation was under control and no untoward incident was reported on Monday. Of the five fishermen taken into custody, four of them were released on bail from the station, while another person was remanded in judicial custody, he said.

Vizhinjam action council convener Fr Eugene Pereira alleged the violence was scripted by the ruling CPI(M) with the backing of external elements, including the BJP. “We are challenging the government to order a judicial probe into the incidents in the last two days. Police had provoked the fishermen. On Sunday, the police took into custody person who was not involved in Saturday’s attack. Later, when four others went to the station to enquire about the custody of a fisherman, they were also detained at the station, leading to the tension,’’ he said.

On Sunday, the police booked Thiruvananthapuram Archbishop Thomas Netto, auxiliary bishop R Kristudas and several priests of the archdiocese in connection with Saturday’s violence during the fishermen’s protest against Adani’s bid to resume work. The archbishop was made the first accused in the FIR. However, the police did not name anyone in the FIR registered in connection with Sunday’s attack on the police station.

Fishermen have been protesting against the Rs 7,500-crore project for the last four months, alleging that its construction caused massive sea erosion, leading to loss of livelihood and dwellings. The state government has recently formed an expert committee, but the fishermen’s demand for including their representative in the panel was rejected. They wanted the construction to be suspended until the study report, a demand rejected by the Government.

The agitation turned violent on Saturday after Adani Group, which wanted to resume the construction which had been stopped for the last three months. It resumed the construction Saturday in the wake of a high court order, which had prevented the agitators from obstructing the work and asked the state government to provide police protection. Over two dozen trucks which came with boulders for the construction of the breakwater had to be taken back from the project site due to the stiff resistance from the fishermen. A local people’s committee in favour of the project, under the aegis of Hindu organisations, has also joined the issue, against the agitating fishermen. Both sides had clashed on Saturday.

Courtesy: Indian Express

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