Vizhinjam police station attack: Tension eases after reconciliatory talks

  • | Monday | 28th November, 2022

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 27 (PTI) The conciliatory meeting called by the district administration after a mob of violent agitators led by the Latin Catholic church attacked the Vizhinjam police station ended here on Sunday night with the church authorities agreeing to disperse the protesters without creating further trouble.The mob launched the attack in protest against the construction of Adani port.The meeting, called by the district collector and attended by the city police commissioner and other senior officials of the district with the church authorities ended will continue on Monday morning.Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order, M R Ajith Kumar told the media that around 36 police officers are admitted to various hospitals of the city after getting injured in the attack by the mob which vandalised the police station on Sunday evening."...a mob gathered at the police station in the evening and demanded the release of a few persons who were arrested in another case. They vandalised the police station and attacked the officers. An SI has received an open fracture on his leg. It seems like he was hit by a brick," Kumar told the media.The mob targeted the police station using sticks and bricks, and attacked police officers after a person was arrested and a few others were taken into custody in connection with the violent protests on November 26.A few police officers suffered serious head injuries in the attack.Kumar said there was no provocation on behalf of the police and they were trying to maintain law and order of the region by exercising maximum restraint before resorting to lathi charge and tear gas to disperse the violent mob.Meanwhile, Fr Eugene Perera, who attended the reconciliatory meeting on behalf of the protesters, told the media that the protesters who have gathered in the region will disperse without creating any trouble to the public."Today"s talks have ended now. The people who have gathered in the nearby areas will leave without creating any trouble for the public. Talks will continue in the morning. We will have multiple meetings with the officials," he said. The priest said the facts of the cases have to be verified with regard to the violence and the church representatives will attend tomorrow"s meeting called by the collector.He alleged the shadow police wing of the police department grabbed five persons without saying anything, which provoked the locals."Many people are wounded and have been admitted to various hospitals of the city. We still don"t know how many are injured. A few persons are said to be missing. So in . tomorrow"s meeting we will include all the matters," Perera said.Meanwhile, Kumar said around 600 policemen were already deployed in the region and around 300 more were added to them."The protest has been ongoing for the last over 120 days. We have shown maximum restraint. Even today they vandalised the station and attacked the officers but responded after three hours showing maximum restraint," Kumar said.Considering the sensitive situation prevailing in the area, the Kerala government has deployed more police officials from the other districts also.The agitators also attacked media persons who were present at the site. ACV local channel camera person, Sherif M John was attacked by the protesters, who damaged his camera and snatched his cellphone. He has been shifted to Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital. Earlier in the day, the state police lodged an FIR against at least 15 Latin Catholic priests, including metropolitan Archbishop Thomas J Netto and Perera, over the violence at Vizhinjam on Saturday.Television channels aired visuals of the vandalised Vizhinjam police station as well as overturned vehicles, including a police van and jeeps.Security has been tightened in the Vizhinjam region. PTI RRT TIR TIR

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