‘No issues with deployment of central forces at Vizhinjam’, Kerala govt tells HC

The Kerala High Court on Friday sought the views of the Central government about deploying Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel at the construction site of the Vizhinjam port project.

Massive protests by a section of the local fishing community in the area — said to be backed by the Latin Catholic Church — for the last over 130 days have put a halt on the work .

In the court, the state government said it has no issues if the central forces are deployed.

Also, later on Friday evening, the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) also gave its nod, saying it is the duty of the Centre to ensure protection to industrial units.

The High Court on Friday also told the state government and Central government to have a discussion on the possibility of deploying central forces and inform the court.

Adani Ports began construction of the port on December 5, 2015.

In August, Adani Ports and its contracting partner Howe Engineering Projects, approached the High Court seeking police protection in light of the ongoing protests against the construction by the local fishing populace, allegedly under the leadership of the Latin Catholic Archdiocese of Trivandrum.

The protesters, among other things, are demanding proper environmental impact studies, rehabilitation of families who lost their home to coastal erosion, and rectifying coastal damages.

The court has passed several orders directing the police to ensure that necessary police protection is granted to Adani Port employees.

The court had also said several times that if the state government and police are unable to see that law and order is maintained in the locality, necessary steps should be taken to seek appropriate assistance from the Central government.

CPI-M state secretary M.V. Govindan told the media in Thiruvananthapuram said that a section of the protesters is trying to create violence by turning it into a communal issue, and the port will become a reality as none can prevent that .

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