'No objection to deploying central forces at Adani Group’s Vizhinjam port': Kerala govt to HC

The Kerala government told the High Court that it has no objection to deploying central forces at the site of the Adani Group’s Vizhinjam port in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram

Vizhinjam port in Kerala
Vizhinjam port in Kerala

NH Web Desk

The Kerala government on Friday told the High Court that it has no objection to deploying central forces at the site of the Adani Group’s Vizhinjam port in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram after the former had approached the court seeking the assistance of central forces to continue with construction after it was halted by protests organised by local fishermen groups.

Justice Anu Sivaraman, while hearing a plea filed by the Adani Group against obstruction and blockade due to protests, asked the state and central governments to discuss the possibility of deploying the central forces. The court, has several times in the past, pulled up the Kerala government for not being able to provide police protection in the project area.

The Central forces had authority, even without a request from the State, to maintain security on the Vizhinjam port premises, Kerala government said and submitted that the matter would be discussed with the Centre.

The court asked the state and central governments to file their reply with regard to the petition by the Adani Group and the matter will be further heard on December 7.

Counsel for the Adani Group and the contracting firm submitted that the ‘instigators’ were still residing at a shed installed in the project area where a protest was being staged. The police arrested only five persons from among the thousands who violated the court’s order.

Meanwhile, the state government informed the court that cases were registered against numerous persons, including the Bishop, with regard to the violence and five persons were arrested.

The Vizhinjam police have registered three more cases against Thiruvananthapuram Latin Catholic archbishop Thomas J Netto in connection with the agitation against the Adani Group’s Vizhinjam seaport project.

The archbishop was booked for violating the High Court order directing not to obstruct construction works. Netto has been charged with trespassing into the port project area, which is a high-security zone, and obstructing construction work.

The police have already registered three cases against the archbishop, which had created consternation among community members. Those cases were registered in connection with last Saturday’s violence near the port entrance. In the newly registered cases, the archbishop has been named as the first accused.

The police have also slapped serious charges against Fr Theodacious D’Cruz, the convenor of the Vizhinjam Samara Samithi, for his controversial remark on Minister V Abdurahiman. D’Cruz

has been booked for attempting to create a rift between Muslim and Christian communities and inciting the mob to create a riot. D’cruz had stated that there was a terrorist in the name of Abdurahiman, in response to minister’s statement that those opposing the port construction were traitors.

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