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Vizhinjam Violence: 3000 persons booked; names of priests removed from new FIR

Security has been tightened at all major locations and roads around the port site, an all-party meeting to restore peace

Vizhinjam Violence: 3000 persons booked; names of priests removed from new FIR
First Published Nov 28, 2022, 11:08 AM IST

A day after violence broke out in Vizhinjam over the ongoing construction at the International Seaport site, police have registered cases against 3000 persons. Though the FIR drawn by the police on Sunday had Archbishop Fr Thomas J Netto as the first accused, the new FIR does not include the names of any priests.

Also Read: Over 30 policemen hurt after anti-Adani port protesters attack police station in Kerala's Vizhinjam

According to the FIR, the protestors laid siege and held the police hostage inside the station, threatened to torch the station if those taken into custody were not released, and destroyed property worth Rs 85 lakh.

Meanwhile, Thiruvananthapuram City Police have strengthened security at all major locations and roads around the port construction site and the harbour to prevent any further untoward incidents. Forces from the neighbouring districts have been brought in and deployed at various points.

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The protest has affected the movement of vehicles as agitators have blocked roads with boats on many roads. KSRTC service from Vizhinjam depot has also come to a halt.

As part of conciliatory measures, police released four accused persons on bail after registering their arrest. Police had taken them into custody after they created the scuffle at the station on Sunday, demanding the release of one of the protestors, Selton, who is now remanded.

The protest against the Adani port in Vizhinjam turned violent on Saturday after clashes erupted between protesters and police officers at the construction site. On Saturday, the protestors attacked a convoy of 25 trucks carrying construction materials to the site despite submitting before the Kerala High Court that no vehicles would be blocked.

Police charged eight cases against the protestors and two cases against the supporters for destroying public property. The FIR drawn up by the Vizhinjam police had Archbishop Fr Thomas J Netto himself as the first accused as a circular was read out at churches under the archdiocese urging believers to strengthen the agitation. The FIR also named Vicar General Eugene Pereira and priests of the Thiruvananthapuram archdiocese of the Catholic Church.

The situation worsened on Sunday and put the district police administration on their toes as more than 1,000 protestors, including women and children, gathered near the police station which later led to vandalising and clashes.

As many as 36 police personnel were injured when protestors laid siege to the police station. Of this, two policemen sustained serious injuries. Lijo P.Mani, sub-inspector, has been shifted to a private hospital for emergency surgery on his leg. Eight protestors were also injured.

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