Vizhinjam port agitation: Kerala police register 9 cases against protesters


PTI, Nov 27, 2022, 3:01 PM IST

Kerala police have registered at least nine cases after Saturday’s anti-seaport protests at Vizhinjam here turned violent.

Going against the assurances given to the Kerala High Court, the protesters agitating in front of the under-construction Vizhinjam seaport had on Saturday blocked the trucks carrying construction materials to the site.

The protesters, led by the Latin Catholic church, had on November 22 assured the high court that they would not block any vehicles coming to the Vizhinjam seaport.

During the blockade, a section of locals who are in support of the project came out opposing the protesters leading to a minor scuffle.

”During the protest, there was a minor scuffle too. Now, we have registered nine cases against the protesters and those who oppose the protest at Vizhinjam,” a senior police official of the district told PTI.

Police said the case was registered against a few church priests also.

Meanwhile, Fr Eugine Perera said the government was not ready to properly rehabilitate the coastal community.

”The government which is not ready to properly rehabilitate us are not threatening us with police cases. We will not back down. Tomorrow, the government will move against us in the court,” Perera told the media.

He said the protesters will file an appeal against the court’s order on various matters related to the Vizhinjam protest.

Earlier on Thursday, the government had scheduled a meeting with the protesters but they failed to turn up.

The high court had on November 22 warned the protesters that stern action will be taken against them if they failed to remove the obstructions.

The port, a Kerala government initiative, is currently being developed in a landlord model with a Public Private Partnership component on a design, build, finance, operate and transfer (‘DBFOT’) basis. The private partner, Adani Vizhinjam Port Private limited, commenced the construction on December 5, 2015 at a cost of Rs 7,525 crore.

The Vizhinjam International Transhipment Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport authorities had said that 70 per cent of the work has now been completed.

Earlier, the state government had made it clear that almost all the demands of the protesters were met except halting the construction work at the port.

The high court has multiple times asked the protesters not to block the road to the seaport premises and have asked the government to remove the shed erected by the agitators as part of their protests.

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