Police said cases were registered against 3,000 “identified persons” for vandalizing a police station and injuring police personnel. About 36 police officers were reportedly injured in the ensuing violence.
Earlier on Sunday, state police filed an FIR against at least 15 Latino Catholic priests, including Metropolitan Archbishop Thomas J. Neto and Perera, because of the violence in Vizhinjam.
Additional Director General of Police Mr. Ajith Kumar told the media that around 36 policemen injured in Sunday night’s attack by the mob that vandalized the police station have been admitted to various hospitals in Thiruvananthapuram. “…a mob gathered at the police station in the evening and demanded the release of several persons who were arrested in another case. They vandalized the police station and attacked the officers. S.I. suffered an open fracture in his leg. He appeared to have been hit of brick,” Kumar told the media.
Kumar said there was no provocation by the police. He said officials were trying to maintain law and order in the region by exercising utmost restraint. When the protests turned violent, the police had to resort to lathis and tear gas to disperse the crowd, he added.
About 600 policemen are already deployed in the region and about 300 more have been added to them, Kumar said.
In Thiruvananthapuram, the district administration on Sunday evening held a meeting with the authorities of the Latin Church, which led the protests against the port project.
Vicar General Eugene Pereira, who attended the reconciliation meeting on behalf of the protesters, told the media that the protesters who had gathered in the region would disperse without causing trouble to the public.
“Today’s talks have already ended. People who gathered in the nearby areas will leave without causing problems to the public. Talks will continue in the morning. We will have many meetings with the officials,” he said on Sunday.
Pereira said the facts of the cases registered against the protesters should be verified regarding the violence and church representatives would attend Monday’s meeting called by the Collector.
He claimed that the police detained five local residents without specifying the reasons for their detention, which provoked the locals.
“Many people have been injured and have been admitted to various hospitals in the city. We still don’t know how many are injured. Several people are missing. So at tomorrow’s meeting we will include all the issues,” said Pereira.
An uneasy calm prevailed in Vizhinjam on Monday morning with heavy police force being deployed to keep the situation under control in Vizhinjam.
Late on Sunday night, protesters attacked media present at the venue. The operator of local channel ACV, Sheriff M John, was attacked by the protesters who damaged his camera and grabbed his mobile phone. He was shifted to Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital.