A four-month long agitation against the Adani port project in Kerala’s Vizhinjam was suspended on Tuesday after protestors held discussions with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, The Indian Express reported.
A group of fisherfolk, under the aegis of the Latin Catholic diocese of Thiruvananthapuram, had been protesting against the Rs 7,500-crore project led by billionaire Gautam Adani’s ports business. They have alleged that the project will cause coastal erosion and damage their livelihoods.
The protest took a violent turn on November 26 after demonstrators prevented the Adani Group from resuming construction at the project site, where work had been suspended for the past four months. The construction at the port was resumed on the directions of the Kerala High Court.
On November 27, 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. The fisherfolk community also alleged that the police took five men in custody.
Later that day, the protestors had 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 in the police station premises. According to the police, 36 personnel were injured.
On Tuesday, Vicar General Eugene Pereira said that the protestors were not against the port project.
“Our demand was that the anxiety of coastal people should be addressed,” Pereira said, according to The Indian Express. “We are not fully satisfied.”
He, however, added that every demonstration has several phases and one such phase of the protest against the post has now ended after consensus, reported PTI.
Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court on Wednesday closed a contempt case against the protestors in connection with the violence on November 26, reported Live Law. This was after the counsel for the state government told the court that the protest had been called off.