The Kerala Police on Monday booked over 3,000 persons in connection with the violent clashes during an ongoing protest against the Adani port project in Kerala’s Vizhinjam, PTI reported.
The protestors attacked the Vizhingam police station on Sunday, officials said.
Fishermen, under the aegis of the Latin Catholic diocese of Thiruvananthapuram, have been protesting against the Rs 7,500-crore project for the last few months. They allege that its construction could cause massive sea erosion and lead to a loss of their dwellings and livelihoods, The Indian Express reported.
The protest took a violent turn on Saturday after demonstrators prevented the Adani Group from resuming construction at the project site, which has been suspended for the last four months. The construction at the port was resumed on the directions of the Kerala High Court.
A clash also took place between the protestors and local Hindu organisations, who came out in support of the port project, according to The Indian Express.
On Sunday, a first information report was registered against Thiruvananthapuram Archbishop Thomas Netto, Auxiliary Bishop R Kristudas and 13 other Latin Catholic priests in connection with Saturday’s violence, according to PTI.
The fishermen community also alleged that the police took five men in custody.
“The police took into custody a person who was not involved in Saturday’s attack,” Vizhinjam action council convener Eugene Pereira told The Indian Express. “Later, when four others went to the station to enquire about the custody of a fisherman, they were also detained at the station.”
On Sunday night, the protestors attacked the Vizhinjam police station, demanding the release of those arrested. According to the police, the protestors held officials hostage, vandalised furniture and damaged several vehicles parked on the police station premises.
On Monday, Additional Director General of Police MR Ajith Kumar said that 36 police personnel were injured in the attack at the station.
“They vandalised the police station and attacked the officers,” Kumar said, according to PTI. “An SI [Sub-Inspector] has received an open fracture on his leg. It seems like he was hit by a brick.”
Kerala Port Development Minister Ahamed Devarkovil said that he has directed the district collector to convene an all-party meeting to ensure peace in the area.
“The issue is coming up before the high court on Monday,” Devarkovil said, according to The Indian Express. “The government would also consider the outcome from the high court before deciding further action. The agitators had given an assurance at the high court that they would not obstruct the construction. Now, that assurance to the court has been breached.”
Meanwhile, the police also said they have released on bail four out of the five men held in custody. One person has been sent to judicial custody.