07 February Tuesday

Mobilising For Riots; 35 Police Injured; 7 Police Vans, 20 Bikes Vandalised

CorrespondentUpdated: Monday Nov 28, 2022

Thiruvanantahpruam : Upfront, the developments in Vizhinjam has all settings for likely riots.  On Sunday, the workers of the protest committee on attacked Vizhinjam police station leaving 35 cops injured, of whom, condition of one remains critical. The mob also vandalised 5  jeeps, 2 police buses and 20 bikes parked in the station compound, and computers stored inside.

They also targeted the press photographer who tried to capture the assaults  on camera. Protesters blocked  ambulance to the scene, making it impossible to transport wounded policemen to hospitals. Police fired tear gas and deployed lathi charge to diffuse the situation but not to much avail.

It all started with a crowd  headed by local pastor surrounding the police station demanding release of five men taken into custody in clashes two days prior. The mob stormed into the station compound by crashing the metal gate.

Trouble began after protest pandal in Muloor was pulled down police on Saturday. In violation of its assurance on the 22nd  to High Court, the protest committee led by Latim  Archbishop, blocked lorries that arrived with construction rocks.

Things started to heat up on Sunday close to 6 pm,  following which,  additional police backup arrived. As of now, the city police Commissioner Spajan Kumar is camped at the place. Liquor shops in the area have ordered close for 1 week from now. Hoping to find midway, the Sub Collector Ashwathy Sreenivasan and ADM Anil Kumar are holding  talks with the protest committee leaders.

On Saturday, the police booked case against 50 pastors and 1000 identifiable persons, for obstructing construction works of the port. Latin archbishop Thomas J Netto is the first accused while Assistant Bishop R Christudas and Vicar General Eugene Perera are 2nd and 3rd accused in the case. There are a total of five cases with   charges ranging from unlawful assembly, contempt of court to causing bodily harm. Also registered is a case for assaulting a policeman by hurling stones. Police have recorded arrest of a Vizhinjam native by the name Selton.