Vizhinjam seaport protests: Police station attack was with 'ulterior intention', says Kerala CM

Fisherfolk of Vizhinjam and other coastal areas have been protesting for more than four months against the under-construction seaport, which also led to violence on November 26 and 27.

Published: 01st December 2022 07:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st December 2022 07:51 PM   |  A+A-

A police vehicle that was overturned by protesters at Vizhinjam. (Photo | EPS)

A police vehicle that was overturned by protesters at Vizhinjam. (Photo | EPS)

By PTI

THRISSUR/TRIVANDRUM: Breaking his silence over the recent violent attack on a police station by anti-seaport agitators, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday criticised the incident, saying such protests took place with a "clear ulterior and heinous intention" to destroy tranquility in the society.

There were widespread attacks against the police and public threats to attack the police station, but the police force cleverly realised the intention of the assailants, he said, addressing the passing out parade of a new batch of women police constables here via online.

The CM, however, did not directly mention the fishermen community who had been staging protests against the upcoming Vizhinjam port and the Latin church which was leading the agitation.

Appreciating the law enforcers for handling the issue sensibly, he said the peaceful atmosphere continued to prevail in the land because of the responsible behaviour of the police personnel despite attacks and injuries they suffered.

"We have seen that certain agitators had taken the path of violence with a clear intention to destroy the tranquility in the society and upset the peaceful life of the people. As part of that, there were attacks against the police and open threats to attack the police station," Vijayan said.

The courageous restraint shown by the police personnel was the reason why things didn't turn out the way the attackers intended and the government realises this, he said.

Attacks, with the clear intention of killing them, were unleashed against the policemen but the law enforcers delivered their duty diligently with utmost self-restraint, the CM added.

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Fisherfolk of Vizhinjam and other coastal areas have been protesting for more than four months against the under-construction seaport, which also led to violence on November 26 and 27.

The protesters attacked Vizhinjam police station on the night of November 27, injuring several policemen.

Besides Vijayan, his cabinet colleagues V Abdurahiman and Ahamed Devarkovil also came out strongly against the agitators.

Fisheries Minister Abdurahiman said he was not ready to accept the apology from Father Theodacious D'Cruz, one of the Catholic priests leading the anti-seaport agitation, for his recent communal remarks against him.

"If you have a loose tongue and say something against anyone and then tender an apology in the evening. I am not going to accept that apology," he said here on the sidelines of a function.

He was replying to the questions regarding the apology note issued by the priest the other day when his remarks evoked widespread criticism.

Police registered a case against the priest and imposed serious charges including communal polarisation in the FIR.

Port Minister Devarkovil said the construction of the seaport is a matter closely connected with the progress not only of the state but of the country itself and the LDF government would not move even a step backward from its stand.

"Kerala is a state which gives utmost prominence to communal harmony cutting across religion or caste. If anyone tries to create a communal division in the name of any agitation, we cannot accept that," he said The minister said the government has to take stringent action against the wrongdoers.

State DGP Anil Kant also indicated stern action in connection with the recent police station attack.

He said CCTV footage and other scientific evidence would be examined to identify those directly taking part in the attack and would take stringent action based on that.

However, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, V D Satheesan charged that the LDF government was trying to brand the anti-seaport agitators as "terrorist" and termed the move as 'highly condemnable.'

The Vijayan government was following the trails of Narendra Modi government at the Centre in branding those opposing and staging protests against them as terrorists, he told reporters in Kollam.

The state police on Wednesday said that investigation has not reached a stage to suggest involvement of any extremist groups in the recent incidents of violence at Vizhinjam here.



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