The Thiruvananthapuram Corporation on Monday moved a petition before the Kerala High Court seeking a directive to deploy the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for implementing the court order on providing police protection for treatment of waste at the Vilappilsala plant.
The petition was filed in response to a court directive to make the CRPF and the Union Home Secretary as respondents in the case as the court felt that the police were ineffective in handling the law and order issue arising out of the protests against the waste disposal. The Corporation submitted that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy's recent statement on the police action at Vilappilsala had revealed that the State government was trying to “wash its hand off the issue”. Mr. Chandy had reportedly said that the court order could not be implemented in view of the prevailing situation. The petitioner also said that police inaction had only worsened the situation.
The court had earlier orally observed that that Central government's police forces could be deployed if required for implementing the court order on providing protection for the functioning of the Vilappilsala plant
The Corporation said that efforts to dispose of the waste at the plant had been obstructed by locals led by panchayat president. The Corporation submitted that the police did not provide protection for bringing the leachate plant machinery from Pune to the Vilappilsala plant. Even though police protection had been ordered by the court, protection was given by the police after many days, the petition pointed out.
The Corporation also submitted that the protestors had threatened not to allow even a single lorry carrying waste onto the plant premises.
Meanwhile, in their petitions, Burhanudeen and Benatson, president and secretary respectively of Janakeeya Samiti, sought to vacate the interim order for police protection. They said that the residents of Vilappilsala began protests following the pollution of water bodies in the areas. They had started peaceful protests as a result of the oppressive and autocratic attitude of the higher-ups to their demands. The court order to treat the piled up waste had been misused.