Vijayan slams Vizhinjam protests, says they were ‘planned’

State Ports Minister Ahamed Devarkovil said this port has been a long-standing dream of Kerala.

Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday broke his silence and slammed the violent protests that took place at the upcoming Adani Vizhinjam Port site last week, adding that they were planned.

The Latin Catholic church appears to be backing the local protesters who are against the building of the port and in the rampage unleashed by the protesters on Saturday and Sunday, the authorities estimated a loss of Rs 85 crore, and around 35 police officials and several protesters were injured.

Consequent to the rampage, the police registered cases against 3,000 people which included the Latin Church bishop, priests among others, and there was widespread criticism from several quarters on the long-standing silence of Vijayan, despite him always speaking about development.

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But on Thursday, Vijayan while addressing the passing out parade of women police officials said that “what happened at Vizhinjam in the past few days was a well-planned one”.

“What happened at Vizhinjam is the outcome of a well-planned conspiracy and one with a motive, which the police have by now identified. The police will deal with the case very sternly,” said Vijayan.

“An attempt to create communal issues and riots was planned. The role of the police in doing their best has to be appreciated as they have done a good job,” added Vijayan.

State Police chief Anil Kant said a detailed probe has begun and each and every aspect will be probed and strict action will be taken against those who have indulged in violence.

State Ports Minister Ahamed Devarkovil said this port has been a long-standing dream of Kerala.

“This port will definitely become a reality and the first ship will call at this port in September next year and it will be an Onam gift for Kerala. Once operational this port will be hugely beneficial for Kerala and the country. Today, big mother vessels come only to Colombo or Dubai and from there it is transshipped here. With this new port, all big mother vessels will dock here, so nothing will be able to stop this project from being stalled,” said Devarkovil.

Since Monday, though there have been no untoward incidents in and around the port site as there are over a thousand police officials on alert.

On Wednesday, NIA officials arrived at the Vizhinjam Police station, which was ransacked by the protesters against this project on Sunday, and held detailed talks with the Kerala Police officials.

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