THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: On a day when high drama followed an apparently short-lived police case against the Attukal Pongala for obstruction of public roads, the MG Road in front of the Secretariat was literally taken over by demonstrators.
The city’s main artery lay blocked during the busy morning hours as the police looked on helplessly. The MG Road was blocked after the Joint Action Council representing the fishermen community took out a march to the Secretariat from Palayam protesting against the recent merchant vessel-fishing craft conflicts and fishermen deaths.
Several hundreds of demonstrators staged a sit-in in front of the Secretariat and took over both sides of the road, halting traffic and forcing re-routing through numerous byroads.
Brandishing fishing nets and paddles, they flayed the government for the Enrica Lexie shooting as well as the subsequent fishermen deaths caused by a ship ramming a fishing boat off Alappuzha coast.
The Latin Archbishop of Thiruvananthapuram, M Soosaipakiam, inaugurated the sit-in and addressed the demonstrators.
Cantonment police have registered a case against nine persons identifiable by sight and 5,000 others. No case has been registered against Soosaipskiam, police said.