A day after fishermen protesting against the construction of Adani group’s Vizhinjam seaport clashed with police and vandalised a police station, a case was registered against 3,000 ‘identifiable persons’ on Monday.
The Sunday attack on the police station and subsequent clashes had left 36 policemen and around 20 fishermen injured. However, no untoward incident was reported in Vizhinjam on Monday.
An all-party meeting resolved to maintain peace and called for resumption of the work, suspended for over three months now.
Earlier on Sunday, the state police lodged an FIR against at least 15 Latin Catholic priests, including metropolitan Archbishop Thomas J Netto and Perera, over Saturday’s violence at Vizhinjam when Adani group tried to resume the work. Action Council convenor Fr Theodosius D’Cruz said there was a conspiracy behind the violence. “We are demanding a judicial probe into the attack which was carried out by elements belonging to the CPI(M) and the BJP. There is a nexus between both parties. We would continue with our peaceful agitation until our demand is met,’’ he said.
Kerala Catholic Bishops Council, a body of bishops in Kerala, also joined the issue saying that “we cannot agree with the stand of the state and the Central governments to neglect the demands of the fishermen”.
Ruling CPI(M) on Monday said certain forces wanted to create unrest in Vizhinjam and its leaders urged the LDF government to take strong action against the culprits while underlining commitment to go ahead with the project. However, CPI(M) ally Kerala Congress (M) took exception to the view that the attack was pre-planned.
The Christian Party said booking bishops for the Saturday’s violence was unfortunate and the government should have honoured the promises made to the fishermen.
The FIR stated that around 3,000 people laid a siege to the police station, held the officials hostage for hours, vandalised the furniture and damaged several vehicles. It said people wanted to release five persons who had been taken into custody, and threatened to torch policemen alive if the five men were not released.
Police didn’t name anybody in the FIR and made no effort on Monday to nab the culprits as the focus was to restore peace. This is in stark contrast to the naming of the bishops and scores for Saturday’s violence.
After an all-party meeting, Food Supplies Minister G R Anil told the media that all parties have resolved to ensure peace and not to obstruct the construction of the port. “Except the action council (led by Latin Catholic archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram), all parties and religious organisations were against suspending the work. The government is ready to hold talks with the agitating fishermen. So far, we had held six rounds of discussions to end the agitation. We are still ready to hear them. But the project cannot be abandoned,’’ he said.