Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 29 January 2023 6.20 PM IST

Government, Latin Church worried about central forces; both sides begin discussion to reach consensus


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With both the government and the Latin Catholic Church leadership worried about the possible consequences of the arrival of the central forces in Vizhinjam, albeit in the name of port construction, both parties began a hasty move to reach a consensus. It is indicated that both parties have reached an agreement on creating a situation to avoid the central forces. The government has postponed its move to write to the central government seeking the deployment of central forces.

The Church is now demanding that the coastal erosion must be studied by suspending port construction for the time being. However, the government did not give any assurance. Instead, it informed the church that a representative of the church can be included in the study committee.

The Chief Minister started the consensus move by assigning Chief Secretary VP Joy instead of the cabinet sub-committee to negotiate with the strike committee. The archbishop decided to participate in the discussion from the other side after the strike committee also decided not to create any more provocation.

Both sides are well aware that the central forces will not be like remain as mere spectators like the police did when the Vizhinjam police station was attacked.

On Wednesday, the government should inform the court of the steps it took regarding the deployment of central forces in Vizhinjam. The court may issue an order to call the central forces unless the government convinces the court that favourable conditions have arisen for the construction of the port. At least some people in the administration and the party leadership realize that it is not a matter that can be avoided by saying that the central forces were called as told by the court. The commencement of the Assembly session on Monday is exerting more strain on the administration.

1) Concern of government

Govt will face a political blow even if violence is suppressed by the deployment of central forces. It might face another embarrassment if another project is withdrawn after K-Rail.

2) Concern of strike committee

The central forces will deal with the protesters harshly if they turn violent. In the event of violence, central troops have the authority to open fire without special order.

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