HC refuses to prohibit protest against Vizhinjam port, says none should disturb Law & Order

Protest against Adani port in Vizhinjam. Photo: ANI

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Friday said it cannot prohibit protests, but at the same time no one should take law into their hands or be a threat to law and order while staging agitations like the one against Vizhinjam Port.

The observation by Justice Anu Sivaraman came during the hearing of a plea of Adani group, carrying out the Vizhinjam port construction, against the fisherfolk's continuing protest against the project.

The court asked the protestors not to force it to take stringent action against them and also directed that its interim orders be strictly enforced.

The directions and observation of the High Court assume significance as local fishermen, opposing the Vizhinjam international seaport project near Thiruvananthapuram, on Thursday intensified the agitation by setting a fishing boat on fire and throwing police barricades into the sea, as the stir entered its 100th day.

During the hearing of the plea, the Adani group told the court that the protest was obstructing the construction work and that there was a possibility that it could turn violent.

The court said the obstructions on the road to the construction site have to be removed and the protest should not be a threat to the law and order situation there.

A large number of people have been staging protests outside the main entrance of the multi-purpose seaport at nearby Mulloor for a few months.

They have been pressing for their seven-point charter of demands that include stopping the construction work and to conduct a coastal impact study in connection with the multi-crore project.

The protesters have been alleging that the unscientific construction of groynes, the artificial sea walls as part of the upcoming Vizhinjam port, was one of the reasons for the increasing coastal erosion.

The High Court, on October 19, made it clear that its interim orders to remove obstructions created by protesters at the entrance of the port must be implemented by the State government.

The direction had come during the hearing of an ongoing contempt plea moved by the Adani group.


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