lTHIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The police have registered cases against 3,000 people, who are yet to be identified, in connection with the attack on Vizhinjam police station on Sunday, that left around 30 policemen injured.
The cases were registered under IPC sections pertaining to rioting, attempt to murder and destruction of public property. The FIR said public property worth Rs 85 lakh was damaged during the violence unleashed by protesters, who mostly belong to the Latin Catholic church.
The Vizhinjam police station came under siege by the protestors after five of its members were detained in connection with Saturday's violence before the Vizhinjam port entrance. The protestors had a violent showdown with the cops, who were easily outnumbered as men and women from the nearby fishing hamlets thronged the place.
As many as five police vehicles were damaged by the protestors, while the cops sustained injuries in stone pelting and police station attack. The ambulances that were called in to shift the injured cops to the hospital were blocked by the agitators initially. One of the Sub-inspectors, who had sustained serious injuries on his lower limbs, was admitted to a private hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.
The agitators blocked police reinforcements from reaching the place for hours. A special branch source said even their plain clothes men were not able to operate in the area as the police personnel were totally surrounded by the agitators. A cameraman associated with a local TV channel was injured by the agitators.
Police had to burst three rounds of tear gas shells to control the mob. The authorities also mobilized forces from the city and rural limits. The rapid response force has also been deployed in the town, while more forces have been summoned from the neighbouring districts and police camps.
The District Collector has ordered that liquor outlets be shut for seven days in Vizhinjam police station limits. Later, negotiations took place between the church leaders and the police and four of the detained men were released on station bail, while one person named Shelton was remanded to judicial custody.
On Sunday, the state government had hardened its stand against the protestors and registered cases against Latin Church priests, including metropolitan archbishop Thomas J Netto. Netto is named the first accused in a case related to conspiracy and instigating violence.
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Besides Netto, Auxiliary bishop Christudas and Vicar General Eugene Pereira were among 50 priests of the Latin Church named as accused in different cases related to the violence. The police registered 10 cases in total.
The archbishop and the auxiliary bishop were named accused in three cases. The Vicar General, who was present at the protest site during Saturday's violence, was charged with an attempt to murder.