Construction of a new sea port prompts a new wave of protests.
Following widespread demonstrations against the launch of a new sea port by the multibillion conglomerate Adani group, over 3,000 people have been arrested in connection to an attacks on a police station in Kerala, a state in southern India.
Construction on the project was stopped for four months before starting up again lately, sparking protests because it is thought to pose a harm to the surrounding ecosystem.
Following an assault on a police office in Vizhinjam city, the officers in Kerala on following monday brought charges against 3,000 people who could be identified, the majority of whom are local fishermen.
The conflict on Sunday night resulted in the injuries of up to 36 police officers and 20 demonstrators.
According to the complaint, which was published in The Indian Express newspaper, a sizable group of demonstrators besieged the police station, held the officers hostage for many hours, vandalised furniture, and damaged a number of vehicles parked on the station’s property.
The demonstrators, according to the police, were calling for the release of five people who had been detained on Saturday in connection with the demonstrations. They also allegedly threatened to set the police officers on fire if their demands were not granted. A loss of almost Rs 8 million (£81,000) was experienced by the station.
Vizhinjam action council chairperson Eugene Pereira informed The Indian Express that “the police arrested a person who was not involved in the incident on Saturday.”
Four additional people were later arrested at the station when they arrived to inquire about the arrest of a fisherman.
The violence was a follow-up to recent protests that were staged in the town against Adani Group’s ($75 billion) port project. Adani Company was acquired by Gautam Adani, and who is this year’s third-richest man in the world according to Forbes rankings.
According to The Indian Express, the residents who are resisting the port claim that if it is built, there will be significant marine erosion, which will result in the destruction of their homes and means of subsistence.
The project’s construction was suspended for 4 months, but when it was recently resumed, protests became violent and group-based.
Locals attempted to halt the building on Saturday, and local media outlets stated that the Hindu associations supported the billionaire’s plans while the Latin Catholic bishop of Thiruvananthapuram city supported the protests by the Christian fisheries sector.
The episode resulted in altercations, during which the police detained five persons and filed complaints against a bishop and 13 priest.
Minister for Port Development in Kerala, Ahamed Devarkovil, stated that they will talk to the residents and wait for a decision from the state supreme court, which had given approval the port’s construction.
On Monday, the supreme court will hear the case. Before deciding on additional action, the government simply would also take the high court’s decision into account, the official said.
The high court had received a guarantee from the protesters that they wouldn’t hinder the building project. That promise made to the judge has now been broken.
According to the neighbourhood police, the situation is currently under control, and no violence broke out on Monday. According to the publication, four out of the five suspects detained in connection with the incident were freed on bail.