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A violent mob attacked the Vizhinjam police station, situated 20 km away from capital Thiruvananthapuram, last night as part of the ongoing protest against the under-construction Adani port. Police say the protestors vandalised the station and injured police personnel.
The protestors had on Saturday allegedly blocked trucks carrying construction material to the port project site, being developed by the Adani group. Work had resumed after a court directive last week reportedly gave the go-ahead to constructing the $900 million dollar trans-shipment project.
For the last three months construction work had stopped as protestors, said to be led by mostly Catholic priests, had reportedly erected a large shelter blocking its entrance, saying the port's development had caused coastal erosion and deprived them of their livelihoods.
Fisherfolk and priests, including the archbishop of the Latin Archdiocese of Trivandum have been charged with attempt to murder, rioting, trespass, criminal conspiracy and obstructing public servants from carrying.
At least 15 Latin Catholic priests are reportedly among over 100 people booked in multiple FIRs.
Reports said 25 trucks carrying rocks to the project site were forced to go away and another 25 trucks, at the project site, were not allowed to leave the premises.
This was followed by a counter-protest by supporters of the seaport, and it led to violent clashes including stone-throwing in which several people including many policemen reportedly suffered injuries. An FIR has also been reportedly booked against those who participated in the counter-protest supporting the seaport project.
As many as 40 police personnel and numerous locals were reported to be injured in the violence that ensued, police said, adding that the protestors were demanding release of one accused in a case registered on Saturday and other suspects, Leo Stanley, Muthappan, Pushparaj, and Shanki, who were under custody.
The FIR says there was a loss of around Rs 85 lakh due to the attack.
The district administration has called an all-party-meeting Monday to resolve the issue. Meanwhile, the four people who were taken into custody were released on station bail after recording their arrest.
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