The Mulavukad police registered a case against CISF officials who allegedly assaulted traditional fish workers near Raman Thuruth on Tuesday.
K Vijayan, Sub-Inspector of police said that the case has been handed over to Harbour police on Wednesday, since the alleged assault happened within the limits of the Harbour police station.
E Jayarajan, circle inspector of police, Harbour station said that they received the case file on Wednesday. “We have started the formal investigation procedures”, he said.
K Vijayan, Mulavakad SI who registered the case said that section 324 of Indian Penal Code (manhandling) has been invoked against the accused.
“Our preliminary understanding is that the assaulted fish workers were not in the restricted area. According to the testimonies of the fish workers, the CISF officials were speaking in Hindi.
We have not identified their names. The fish workers said that they can recognise the faces of the officials”, Circle Inspector E Jayarajan said.
Vijayan added that earlier also there were allegations by the fish workers that they were unfairly targeted by the CISF officials.
Certain sources in the police said that CISF hires private boats for patrolling. Boats manned by untrained drivers reportedly transgress into fishing area and result in altercations.
Meanwhile, K Babu, Minister for Fisheries said that he directed the district collector to look into all dimensions of the case. “Necessary steps will be taken to stop the harassment alleged by the fish workers”, he said.
S Sharma, Vypeen MLA and former Fisheries Minister condemned the incident.
Recalling several official meetings that discussed the issue, Sharma said that any aggression against the traditional rights of the fish workers will be countered militantly.
“The fish workers are also the unpaid guards who look after the borders of the country. Their courageous contributions to the coastal security at various critical junctures is to be remembered and thanked for. It is unjust that they are seen as threat to security”, he said. He also demanded immediate action against the guilty for taking such an unjust action.
The fish workers had conducted a protest march to the Port Trust Office on Wednesday against highhandedness of the CISF officials in assaulting the traditional fish workers near Raman Thuruth.
As a sign of protest they also engaged in fishing by defying orders.