THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Tension prevailed at the entry point of the under- construction Vizhinjam container terminal at Mulloor, for around two hours on Saturday.
The issue began when the Vizhinjam agitation committee led by Latin Archdiocese which oppose the project and the People collective of Mulloor which favours the project clashed with each other. The clash erupted after the Adani group attempted to resume the construction by bringing trucks with construction materials, including granite, to the port site. Earlier, the Adani group had written to the state government to take steps to resume the construction on Saturday.
The vehicles were brought to the site after the Vizhinjam agitation committee promised the High Court on Tuesday that they would not stop the vehicles. The court has also recorded the promise of the agitation committee. However, a large group of people assembled at the port side and blocked around 15 trucks from 10 am.
A few protesters lay down in front of the trucks. A large battalion of police was also on the scene from the morning. Soon, the Mulloor residents came and had a heated argument with the protesters. Thus, the argument snowballed into a scuffle, with the agitators pelting stones at the residents even after the police and a few church priests tried to calm them. The protesters have also chased the local residents away from the spot and pelted stones at a truck. The window pane of the truck was damaged. The police stationed at the spot managed to maintain law and order after the truck drivers were instructed to return around 12 noon.
The Adani group had earlier planned to bring the trucks to the site on Friday. But the agitation committee led by the Latin archdiocese sought one more day, as the agitation committee had planned a meeting with the Chief Secretary, VP Joy on Friday. But the protesters have not turned up even after the Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, was ready to meet them at the Cliff House. However, the High Court will consider the case on Monday, and the court is likely to order strict instructions to allow the resumption of port works as the agitation committee has failed to keep its promise before the court.