Over 30 policemen hurt after anti-Adani port protesters attack police station in Kerala's Vizhinjam
Local media persons were also roughed up. The protesters damaged four police jeeps and a minivan. The police had to fire tear gas shells to disperse the protesters.
Protesters opposing the construction of the Adani port in Thiruvananthapuram's Vizhinjam attacked the local police station in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday night after the Kerala Police arrested a person in connection with the violence that happened a day earlier.
More than 30 policemen were injured in the clash on Sunday. The injured policemen were shifted to the Medical College Hospital. Local media persons were also roughed up. The protesters damaged four police jeeps and a minivan. The police had to fire tear gas shells to disperse the protesters. The District Collector is at the spot. Senior police officials, including the city police commissioner and other officers, rushed to the Vizhinjam police station in the aftermath of the attack.
Earlier today, at least 50 Latin Archdiocese priests, including Archbishop Dr Thomas J Neto and Assistant Bishop Christuraj, were booked by the Kerala Police after anti-seaport protests turned violent on Saturday.
On Saturday, tensions were very high in Vizhinjam as coastal residents blocked the Adani Group's attempt to resume port construction. Supporters and opponents of the project clashed. Protesters stopped 27 lorries carrying construction materials; they lay down in front of the vehicles. Due to the strong opposition, the lorries that came with the construction material could not enter the project area and had to return. This is despite a court order directing the state government to provide police protection to the construction work.
Government's approach to the strike is changing
Meanwhile, the Pinarayi Vijayan government's approach to the strike is also changing. The government has decided to collect the losses caused by the 104-day strike from the Latin Archdiocese. The port construction company has claimed losses to the tune of Rs 200 crore.
Unlike its previous position, the new move follows the High Court's ruling that if public property is destroyed, the loss should be recovered from the protesters. A circular read on Sunday in the churches under the Latin Archdiocese said that the protests would intensify considering the government will not provide a reasonable solution to even one of the demands.
District Collector Jeromick George informed that the operation of liquor shops had been banned from November 28 to December 4.
'Pinarayi will do anything for Adani'
Opposition leader VD Satheesan said that it is unacceptable that the police have registered a case against the Latin Archdiocese, including the archbishop, for the violence that occurred during the Vizhinjam strike. This is an unheard-of incident, he said.
Satheesan alleged that it was evident from the police action that the Pinarayi government has reached a point where it will do anything for Adani. "The Latin Archdiocese has made a serious claim that the government planned the violence in Vizhinjam. That, too, should be investigated," he said.
"Are the CPM workers ready to file a case against the chief minister and the party secretary like the police have filed a case against the archbishop and the priests? The government, which is doing slave labour for Adani, is trying to suppress the fishermen's struggle for survival," he alleged.
"The government and the CPM have, from the very beginning, worked towards eliminating the struggle by communalising it. The state has seen the CPM-BJP tie-up being formed to protect the interests of Adani and stand against the Vizhinjam strike. It is suspected that this alliance is behind the clashes. Both allies are willing to do anything," he added.