UDF demands judicial probe into Vizhinjam violence

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The Opposition UDF on Tuesday made a scathing attack against the Kerala government, alleging that it adopted a “hostile attitude” towards the fishermen protesting against the construction of Vizhinjam port and demanded a judicial probe into the recent violent incidents in connection with the anti-seaport stir.

The investigation should bring out the real truth and not cover up the facts, they said during a discussion in the state Assembly on the adjournment motion on the Vizhinjam issue.

The opposition front made it clear that they were not demanding that the construction of the upcoming port be stopped.

But, development should be brought through consensus and not through confrontation, Congress legislator M Vincent, who moved the motion, said.

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The Left government was not keen to reach out to the fishermen community and address their woes despite the latter approaching the authorities with their concerns several times, he alleged.

He accused the state government of viewing the agitators with a “hostile attitude” and charged that some cabinet ministers had called them “terrorists” and “anti-nationals”.

The Kovalam MLA also alleged that there was a deliberate attempt by the police to provoke the fishermen community and thus create issues in the region.

Several people were arrested without any reason and a case was registered even against the Archbishop, he said, adding that a pregnant woman was summoned to the police station in the name of interrogation.

“So, a judicial probe should be ordered to bring out the truth regarding the violent incidents reported on November 26 and 27 as part of the stir. But that investigation should be to bring out the real truth and not to cover up the facts,” Vincent said.

Shedding its adamant stand, the government should be ready to discuss the issue with an open mind and reach a consensus at the earliest, the legislator added.

Meanwhile, Saji Cheriyan (CPI-M) said it was the former UDF government under the then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, which had granted permission for the construction of the deep sea port.

“After giving all the permission and clearance during their reign, the opposition is now trying to fish in the troubled water,” he alleged.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in his reply, informed the House the governments willingness to discuss the matter on the floor of the assembly when the UDF sought a notice for an adjournment motion over that.

“The issue is the one which is being viewed seriously by the state. It is better to discuss the matter stopping the other proceedings,” he said.

Based on his reply, Speaker A N Shamseer took up the other scheduled business of the day to complete it before the discussion commenced. Fisherfolk of Vizhinjam and other coastal areas have been protesting for more than four months against the under-construction seaport, which also led to violence on November 26 and 27. The protesters attacked Vizhinjam police station on the night of November 27, injuring several policemen.


(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)

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