Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 05 February 2023 6.19 AM IST

Massive clash in Vizhinjam; protesters attack locals, violate assurance given to court


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: On Saturday, a large group of protesters headed by the Latin Archdiocese attacked the locals and stopped lorries transporting construction materials to the port, turning Vizhinjam into a battleground. The lorries attempted to deliver construction materials to the port in accordance with the assurances given to the High Court by the Anti-Vizhinjam Port Committee.

A clash broke out between those supporting the project and those opposing it. People including locals who were protesting in favour of the port were beaten up. Several people, including Congress councillor C Omana, were injured in the protest. Omana is undergoing treatment at Thiruvananthapuram General Hospital. Three seriously injured people were admitted to Thiruvananthapuram Medical College. The protestors also attacked the police. The palm of a policeman of the AR camp suffered burns.

Police remained as mute spectators as the anti-Vizhinjam protesters demolished the pandal of the popular group. The women, who were present here, fled to neighbouring houses. The protesters rushed after them and pelted stones at five houses. With this, public sentiment against the protesters became stronger.

25 lorries carrying stones from Muthalappozhi were stopped. The protesters had received the information as soon as the lorries started the trip. Although the protesters tried to assault the lorry drivers, they were stopped by the police. About two hundred policemen were present at the spot.

Tension is prevailing in the region despite the lorries returning. In the evening, a group of protesters entered a milk society in Panavila and attacked the employee and those who came to sell milk. Jiji, an employee, was dragged on the road and beaten up.

BJP's flagpoles and flux boards installed in the temple premises were also destroyed. In protest against this, Hindu Aikya Vedi marched to the Thiruvananthapuram city police commissioner's office last night.

Paving way for central forces

  • The promise given by the strike committee to the High Court the other day that heavy vehicles will be allowed and construction will not be stopped has been violated. The High Court had clarified that the help of the central forces can be sought if necessary
  • The High Court had directed the state government and the police to ensure adequate protection. The court will consider the plea again on Monday
  • The government is likely to submit an affidavit in the High Court on Monday demanding that the losses incurred due to the suspension of construction works must be recovered from the strike committee.

Chief Minister waited, strike leaders did not come
On Friday, the Adani Group had written to the government seeking permission to deliver the stones. The government replied that talks were going on and a settlement would be reached. Although the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary waited for the strike leaders for more than an hour on Friday, the leaders did not come for the talks. On Friday night, the Adani group once again approached the government. The government then instructed to deliver the stones at 10.30 am. The government is now waiting for the High Court's verdict. The archdiocese has decided to file an appeal if the verdict is against it.

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