Protests against the Centre’s decision to implement suggestions of the Kasturirangan committee on Western Ghats turned violent in Kerala on Thursday night and Friday.
Protesters in Kottiyoor of Kannur district detained forest officials from Karnataka for over five hours and set fire to their vehicle. The officials were later released. According to sources in Bangalore, another vehicle was sent to bring them back to the city.
When the group of Central officials from Karnataka reached the area for a routine survey at Kelakam, news spread that they had arrived there to demarcate land to be declared as an Ecologically Sensitive Zone (ESZ).
People from the surrounding villages rushed to the spot and detained them. They set seven vehicles belonging to the Police, Forest and Fire Departments on fire. In Kozhikode district, a mob set ablaze a police jeep. Police fired in the air as protesters stoned vehicles and forest offices.