Staff Reporter

Meeting on January 4 to resolve Kainur issue

Thrissur: Writer Sukumar Azhikode has put off his plan to stage fast indefinitely from January 1 to press for the closure or relocation of the Pig-Breeding Centre run by the Kerala Livestock Development Board at Kainur, near here.

The Kainur Joint Action Council has demanded the closure or relocation of the Pig-Breeding Centre alleging that waste from the farm is causing health problems to local residents and polluting the environment.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Prof. Azhikode said that he put off the plan to stage fast following an assurance from Chief Minister Oommen Chandy that a ``practical decision to solve the problem can be taken''.

Prof. Azhikode said he would stage fast from January 5 if the Government did not honour its promise.

In a letter sent to Prof. Azhikode on Saturday, Mr. Chandy said Agriculture Minister K.R. Gouri would meet representatives of the Kainur Joint Council on January 4.

``I will attend the meeting along with Speaker Therambil Ramakrishnan and Culture Minister A.P. Anil Kumar. I am optimistic that the problem can be solved. In this context, I request you not to launch a fast from January 1. I had discussed the issue with the Joint Action Council. I had resolved to take a decision that would satisfy the demands of the people of Kainur. There was a delay in implementing the decision on account of certain practical and technical difficulties,'' the Chief Minister wrote.

Prof. Azhikode said that the Chief Minister's concern was evident.

``A reasonable term may be allowed for the Government to implement its decision. My protest is Gandhian by nature. I am touched by the plight of an orphaned community. I am happy that many, including Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan, former judge of the Supreme Court V.R. Krishna Iyer, environmentalist Medha Patkar, showed solidarity with me as I announced my plan to stage fast indefinitely,'' Prof. Azhikode said.

He alleged that the Agriculture Minister was being misguided by officials. ``Ms. K.R. Gouri has failed to understand the plight of the Kainur residents. I wonder whether she has moved far too much from the Communist ideals she once cherished. There were shrewd moves from the KLD Board to make me change my decision to support the residents of Kainur.''