‘Priests Involved In Vizhinjam Violence, More People Brought To…’: Kerala Police To HC

Vizhinjam Seaport violence: Fishermen have been protesting against the Adani port project, alleging that it is not a natural port.

‘Priests Involved In Vizhinjam Violence, More People Brought To…’: Kerala Police To HC
Fishermen belonging to the Thiruvananthapuram Latin Archdiocese put a blockade using boats in the harbour at Perumathura Muthalapozhi during a protest against the Vizhinjam Port project, in Thiruvananthapuram on Oct 27. (ANI File Photo)

IN ANOTHER development in the Adani port project, the Kerala Police have filed an affidavit in the High Court on stated that priests too have a role in the Vizhinjam violence, including the attack on the police station over the weekend, ANI reported.

The priests were involved in the violent episodes that occurred in Vizhinjam lately as part of the protests against the port, according to an affidavit the police submitted in the High Court. Sparjan Kumar, the commissioner of the Thiruvananthapuram City Police, filed the report on Thursday in accordance with a Monday court order.

The fishermen have been protesting against the Adani port project, alleging that it is not a natural port and that entering will reveal enormous sand dunes that have been scooped up from the sea and stacked up.

On Sunday protests turned violent and Vizhinjam Police arrested five protesters for allegedly blocking trucks in Thiruvananthapuram which led to a scuffle. However, four of the five protesters were released later.

Police in its report as quoted by ANI said, “On the day of the attack on the police station, the priests brought more people to the construction area by ringing the church bell. About 2000 people including women, children and elders reached the spot. The leadership of the priests stopped the vehicles that reached the area.”

“The police initially arrested 5 people in the violence. Then about 3000 people including priests attacked the Vizhinjam police station. Policemen were also injured in the attack. The protesters blocked the ambulances that came to take the injured policemen to the hospital. The protesters destroyed six police vehicles parked on the station premises. 20 private vehicles on public roads were also destroyed. 64 policemen were injured," the report added further.

Police also alleged that the protesters violated the assurances given earlier before the High Court.
"10 priests, including Fr Eugene Pereira. Under the leadership of Fr Eugene, the CCTV cameras at the port gate were destroyed. On 27th, a total of 85 lakh rupees worth of damage was caused," the 40-page report also reads.

The demonstrators allegedly broke the promises made earlier before the High Court, the Police said. On November 27, a total of 85 lakh rupees worth of damage was done, officials added. Police also submitted pictures of the violence and casualties are also appended to the report.

On Monday, High Court asked the state government what they have done to ensure law and order in the wake of violence erupting at the protest site of Vizhinjam port. On August 26, the court directed the Kerala Police to ensure the maintenance of law and order at the construction site of Vizhinjam port.

 

(With ANI Inputs)

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