29 Nov 2022 3:00 AM GMT
The Kerala High Court on Monday enquired as to what steps have been taken by the State in light of violent protests at Vizhinjam, where fishermen have been protesting against construction of an International Seaport by the Adani Group.Justice Anu Sivaraman directed that all appropriate steps ought to be taken in light of the developments over the course of the last two days, and that the...
The Kerala High Court on Monday enquired as to what steps have been taken by the State in light of violent protests at Vizhinjam, where fishermen have been protesting against construction of an International Seaport by the Adani Group.
Justice Anu Sivaraman directed that all appropriate steps ought to be taken in light of the developments over the course of the last two days, and that the same must to be informed to the Court by Friday.
Despite the express assurance given to the Court on Tuesday that heavy vehicles carrying construction materials would be permitted to enter the port site, protestors attacked the vehicle on Saturday.
As per media reports, on Saturday, clashes had broken out between the protestors, ie, the Latin Catholic Church led Vizhinjam agitation committee, and the supporters of the Vizhinjam project, namely, the People Collective of Mulloor. In connection with the same, on Sunday, the police had registered cases against both factions for destroying public property worth Rs. 2 Lakh. By Sunday evening, as per media reports, a large group of protestors had gathered in front of the Vizhinjam police station and vandalized police vehicles. Many police personnel and others were also injured in the violence that ensued.
The protestors demanded that the persons who had been detained ought to be released, and the cases registered against the priests be withdrawn. Resultantly, the police have registered cases against more than 50 persons including members of the clergy, for criminal conspiracy, attempt to murder, unlawful assembly, and rioting.
Archbishop of the Latin Catholic Diocese, Thomas J Netto has been named as the first accused. Auxiliary Bishop Christudas and Vicar General Eugene Pereria have also been named in the FIR.
The counsel for the petitioners informed the Court that the potential danger which had been lurking around had become a reality.
"There is an open defense; it is a war against the orders of this Court", the Counsel submitted.
The Counsel further pointed out that as far as the police were concerned, they were either incapable of giving protection, or were rendered in a situation where they were unable to act.
"If this is the situation, where do we stand? This is absolute lawlessness. Violence continued upto midnight. Can law be taken into hands like this? Men in religious robes taking up sticks. Can this happen?", the counsel pointed out.
The Government on its part, informed the Court that FIR had been registered against the violators. Photographs and visuals of the incident were also handed over to the Court.
The Court had, last Tuesday, observed that protestors in Vizhinjam need to comply with its orders for unhindered ingress and egress to Adani Project site. It added that while the group of people could certainly agitate, they could not hold the entire public to ransom.
State Attorney and Government Pleader N. Manoj Kumar; Senior Advocate V.J. Mathew, and Advocates Vipin P. Varghese, Adarsh Mathew, Kevin Mathew George, Meera Elsa George, and Merlin Mathew appeared on behalf of the various respondents.
Case Title: M/S Adani Vizhinjam Ports Pvt Ltd & Ors v. Dr. V.P. Joy IAS & Ors.