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Vizhinjam port surrounded by boats from sea, protestors break open gates

Representatives of the protesting fisherfolk had on Sunday made clear their intention to block the port from the sea, to intensify their agitation after talks with state government last week failed

Security personnel attempt to disperse fishermen and activists during a protest against Adani port project in Vizhinjam, in Thiruvananthapuram (Photo: PTI)

Security personnel attempt to disperse fishermen and activists during a protest against Adani port project in Vizhinjam, in Thiruvananthapuram (Photo: PTI)

Press Trust of India Thiruvananthapuram
Kerala's under-construction Vizhinjam port on Monday witnessed an unprecedented style of agitation with protesting fisherfolk surrounding the strategically important site from the sea on boats, even as others on land entered its premises by breaking open its huge gates.
Representatives of the protesting fisherfolk, who were hailed as Kerala's own army for their adventurous rescue operations in flood-hit areas of the state in 2018, had on Sunday made clear their intention to block the port from the sea, to intensify their agitation after talks with the state government last week failed.
On Monday, the fisherfolk not only blocked the port from the sea, but on land many of them climbed over the gates and broke the locks from the inside, letting through the horde of protestors waiting outside.
Visuals aired on TV channels showed how the police, who were deployed there since morning in huge numbers, stood helplessly as the protestors climbed over the gates and broke the locks.
The protestors were then seen jubilantly dancing around after breaking through the gates.
At the same time, hundreds of fishing boats were also seen surrounding the port from the sea.
One of the priests of the Latin Archdiocese, who are leading the protest, had a day ago said that while the state government said it would meet five of their demands, it was only an oral assurance and they wanted it in writing.
The priest had also said that the construction of the port should be stopped and a study be carried out regarding its environmental impact and representatives of the fisherfolk, who are experts in such matters, be also consulted.
The Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC), a powerful church body, on Sunday had declared its full support to the coastal residents "who are fighting for their survival and the Thiruvananthapuram Latin Archdiocese which is leading their struggle".
A large number of coastal people have been staging an intense protest outside the main entrance of the multi-purpose seaport, located at nearby Mulloor, since last week pressing their seven-point charter of demands including to stop the construction work and to conduct a coastal impact study in connection with the multi-crore project.
The protesters have been alleging that the unscientific construction of groynes, the artificial sea walls known as "pulimutt' in local parlance, as part of the upcoming Vizhinjam port was one of the reasons for the increasing coastal erosion in the district.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Aug 22 2022 | 3:57 PM IST

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