A violent crowd presided over by the Latin Catholic church on late night Sunday attacked Vizhinjam police station in Thiruvananthapuram in the demonstration against the construction of the new Adani port.
The group targeted the police station with the help of sticks and bricks and assaulted police officials post an arrest of a person. The police officials began detaining protesters on November 26. “At least 29 policemen have been injured and admitted to various hospitals,” a special branch police official said.
The Kerala government in response deployed more police officials from other districts taking cognizance of the developing crisis. The protesters also attacked the media persons covering the whole incident. Sherif M John, a camera person from the channel ACV local, was harmed by the protesters. They damaged his camera and snatched his phone away. He is being treated at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital.
In the meantime, to ease down the situation, the district administration initiated talks with the senior members including Father Eugene Perera of the church. “We will speak to the protesters. I came here to resolve the matter in a peaceful manner,” Fr Perera told the media. “The church wants to maintain peace”.
Prior to this incident, the state police filed an FIR against 15 Catholic church priests, including metropolitan archbishop Thomas J Netto and Perera, over the violence at Vizhinjam on Saturday. The mainstream media aired the visuals of vandalism such as overturned jeeps and police vehicles.
Senior officials, including the district collector, city police commissioner and sub-collector, have called an appeasement meeting with the protesters at the Kovalam animation centre. The church administration and government officials are anticipated to talk to the media post the meeting. The police have disposed of tight security in the Vizhinjam region.