With protests against the laying of GAIL pipelines in parts of Kozhikode and Malappuram districts taking a violent turn, the Kerala government has decided to call an all-party meeting on Monday over the issue.
Industries minister AC Moideen has asked Kozhikode district collector UV Jose to call a meeting to discuss the issue on Monday.
The anti-GAIL protests at Mukkom had turned violent on Wednesday. In retaliation, the police reportedly barged into homes and arrested several people who they believed were behind the violent protests.
The police are now claiming that those behind the violence and the organisation of the protests had links with extremist groups.
On Friday morning, a delegation of top opposition leaders led by former state Congress president VM Sudheeran visited the Mukkam area and met the protesters. After the meeting, he said that this is a protest seeking proper compensation.
"To quell a protest using force is not the right way for authorities and governments," said Sudheeran and assured the protesters that all support would be given to them.
A housewife, speaking to the media, expressed shock at the police's high-handedness. She said the police even barged into toilets to take away people. "This has never happened before," the woman said.
The police action has been roundly criticised on social media too. Several pictures are also doing the rounds when the CPM was against the pipeline when they were in the opposition back in 2015.
One of the most vocal proponents of the project now is Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who has been quoted as saying that the police will be forced to act and some will have to suffer to pave the way for development.
(With agency inputs)