The Kerala Police filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court on Thursday, alleging that priests also had a role in the violence in Vizhinjam, including the attack on the police station over the weekend.
According to an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court by the police, the priests also played a role in the violent incidents that took place in Vizhinjam as part of the anti-port protests recently.
Thiruvananthapuram city police commissioner Sparjan Kumar has submitted the report as per the court’s directions that came on Monday.
The court will hear petitions by Adani Vizhinjam Port Pvt Ltd and its contracting company Howe Engineering Projects seeking protection of their employees and property from those protesting the project.
Fishermen are protesting to oppose the Adani Port project, claiming that it is not a natural port and that if one goes inside, one can see huge sand dunes carved out by the sea, piled up.
On Sunday, the fishermen’s protest turned violent and the Vizhinjam police arrested five protesters for allegedly blocking trucks in Thiruvananthapuram, leading to a fight. However, four of the five protesters were later released.
The Vizhinjam police on Sunday said they have registered cases against the archbishop and auxiliary bishop of Thiruvananthapuram and several priests for allegedly blocking trucks, which led to a brawl.
These trucks were carrying some material for the construction of Vizhinjam Port by Adani Group.
The alleged fight took place when a group of people protesting the construction of the Vizhinjam port blocked these vehicles and another group in support of the port project opposed them.
“On the day of the attack on the police station, the priests brought more people to the construction area by ringing the church bell. About 2,000 people, including women, children and old people, reached the site. The leadership of the priests stopped the vehicles that reached the area. Initially, the police arrested 5 people in the violence. Then about 3,000 people, including priests, attacked the Vizhinjam police station. Policemen were also injured in the attack. Protesters blocked the ambulances that came to take the injured policemen to the hospital. Protesters destroyed six police vehicles parked in the building at the station. 20 private vehicles on public roads were also destroyed. 64 policemen were injured,” the police report said.
The police also alleged that the protesters violated the assurances given earlier to the Supreme Court.
“10 priests, including Father Eugene Pereira. Under the leadership of Father Eugene, the CCTV cameras at the port gate were destroyed. Supporters of the port’s construction were also attacked by the protesters in addition to the police. On the 27th, a total of Rs 85 lakh damage was caused,” the 40-page report further said.
The police also provided photographs of the violence and the victims were also attached to the report.
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the state government what they have done to ensure law and order following the violence that erupted at the Vizhinjam port protest site.
On August 26, the court ordered the Kerala Police to ensure the maintenance of law and order at the Vizhinjam port construction site.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published by a syndicated channel.)