No need for Central forces at Vizhinjam, State police can handle situation: Minister

State has, however, not objected to concessionaire’s demand for Central security in High Court: Devarkovil

Published - December 04, 2022 07:06 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Hardly 48 hours after the Kerala government informed the Kerala High Court that it has no objection to Central forces being deployed at the Vizhinjam International Seaport construction site, where work has been suspended for more than three months due to the protests led by the Thiruvananthapuram Archdiocese of the Catholic Church (Latin rite), Port Minister Ahammad Devarkovil on Sunday said there was no need for Central forces to maintain law and order at Vizhinjam.

Stating that the State government has not requested the deployment of the Central forces at the Vizhinjam port construction site, Mr. Devarkovil said the State police were enough to provide security cover for the port project. It was the concessionaire company, Adani Group, which sought Central security on the port premises. Since the company had the right to seek protection for its men and machinery at the site, the State government saw no reason to oppose the plea, said Mr. Devarkovil.

Earlier, Transport Minister Antony Raju had also said that the State government had not requested the deployment of Central forces. Considering the plea by the concessionaire firm seeking police protection for port-construction works, the court had directed the counsel for the State and the Centre to get instructions from the respective governments regarding the deployment of Central forces to maintain security in the port area at the next hearing on Wednesday.

Circular read out

Meanwhile, a circular was read out in the churches under the Catholic Church (Latin rite), Thiruvananthapuram, explaining the circumstances that led to the violence at Vizhinjam. The circular blamed the provocations made by some quarters for the violent incidents at Vizhinjam. Depicting those who led the struggle for survival as “traitors” and “terrorists” had also sparked outrage. The circular also alleged that protesters, including women, were brutally beaten up by the police. It was not necessary to stop the port project permanently, but the construction work had to be stopped immediately to hold a study on the impact of the port project on the coastline, the circular said.

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