Dissent brewing against Vizhinjam fishermen’s strike

TCCI says there is a conspiracy behind the protests

September 15, 2022 12:41 am | Updated 12:41 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

 Nuns participate in a protest march ‘From Moolampilly to Vizhinjam’  in Kochi on Wednesday.

Nuns participate in a protest march ‘From Moolampilly to Vizhinjam’ in Kochi on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

Even as there seems to be no end in sight to the ongoing indefinite strike by the fishermen and their families against the Vizhinjam International Seaport, the Trivandrum Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) and a local collective at Vizhinjam have come up against the stir raising doubts of foreign hands behind the stir.

In a representation to the Union Home Ministry, the TCCI has sought a probe into the role of ports and countries, which are expected to incur huge losses due to the commissioning of Vizhinjam international port, in the ongoing stir against the port project.

The stir is aimed at scuttling economic progress and jeopardising the security of the country. The fishermen were misguided by some, despite all their legitimate demands being agreed upon by the State government. There is a conspiracy behind the protest and it should be brought to light, the TCCI demanded.

Meanwhile, the local collective called Janakeeya Pradirodha Simithy at the project site alleged that there was something similar in the stir against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project and the protest against the Vizhinjam port. In both projects, the protest gained strength in the final phase of both the projects. In the case of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, the protestors unleashed violence on the day of filling the fuel at the nuclear power plant, resulting in the death of a fisherman in police firing.

The then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had criticised the organisations that receive support from abroad and were behind the protests against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu, said the representatives of the local collective. Here, the fishermen intensified protest after reports that the first ship will call at the port by next January with a view to stalling the project.

The stir by the fishermen at Mulloor where the port project comes up has also created anarchy in the area despite the people in the area being in favour of the project. The police were not ready to act against the protestors which has to be stopped, they said while demanding a detailed probe into the conspiracy behind the stir. They also alleged that the fishermen were the main beneficiaries of the financial and employment packages announced by the governments in connection with the project so far, although none of them has lost a single piece of land as part of the port project.

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