NIA to gather info on anti-port protest

Insight Online News

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 30 : The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will gather information on the attack on a police station by anti-port protestors led by the Thiruvananthapuram archdiocese of the Catholic Church (Latin rites).

The NIA team is likely to gather information from the police about the protest against Adani’s Vizhinjam port area where violence erupted on Saturday and Sunday, informed sources said on Wednesday.

The NIA is likely to gather information on various issues related to the violent agitation and alleged external funding for the strike against the Rs 7,500 crore port project here.

The Kerala Police have estimated a loss of about Rs 85 lakh and booked 3,000 people in connection with the police station attack on Sunday and other violent incidents.

Earlier, the Kerala High Court sought a report on the law and order situation in Vizhinjam and the attack on the police station as the anti-port protest entered the 136th day.

Demanding an immediate end to the construction work at the Adani Port, the agitators laid siege to the police station demanding the release of five people who were booked for attacking those supporting the port and damaging trucks carrying construction materials to Adani’s port on Saturday.

The agitators also vandalised four jeeps, two vans and 20 bikes, held police personnel hostage and injured 33 policemen on Sunday night.

Meanwhile, the CPI-M issued a statement criticising the Latin Church for instigating the violence around the Vizhinjam Port area.

The CPI-M also urged the state government to take stringent police action against those trying to sabotage the port project and creating a terror like situation in the coastal area.

Earlier, the police registered a case against Latin archdiocese archbishop Dr Thomas J Netto as the prime accused in the clash.

On October 27, fisherfolk backed by the Latin Archdiocese set ablaze a boat and threw police barricades into the sea.

Hundreds of fisherfolk including women entered the project site via road and sea and broke open the lock of the entrance gate of the port.

The agitators also stopped police from taking the photos of the protest and those involved in the violence.

However, the demand to stop the construction of the port was denied by the state government.

Earlier, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the Assembly that no one will lose their shelter and livelihood in Vizhinjam due to the construction activities of the Vizhinjam seaport.

Assuring that he was committed to finding a solution to the genuine problems faced by the people, he said the government was ready for a discussion with the agitating fishermen.

Earlier, Church Vicar General Eugene Pereira said the agitation will continue till their demands including proper compensations were accepted by the state government.


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