Vizhinjam Port- People Who Indulged In Violence Were Gathered By Ringing Bells Of Churches: Kerala Police Tells High Court
An Affidavit has been filed by the Commissioner of Police, Thiruvananthapuram City in the contempt case filed by Adani Vizhinjam Port Pvt. Ltd. and its officers for violation of the earlier orders of the High Court to end protests preventing construction activities at the Vizhinjam international port project.
The protest against the project had turned violent recently, involving an attack on a police station on November 27, resulting in massive damage to public and private properties and serious injuries to police officers.
The Kerala Police has said in the affidavit that around 2000 persons gathered and indulged in violence after bells in nearby churches were rung.
"Moreover, by ringing bell of nearby Churches, the party respondents abetted the devotees to gather. As such, more than 2000 people including ladies, children and old age persons gathered at once and they indulged in violent activities", the affidavit says, producing therewith photographs and videos in support.
The Police have said that the party respondents in the contempt case, mostly priests of the Latin Catholic Church, obstructed entry of vehicles into the construction site and "blatantly violated the assurance made before this Hon'ble Court".
The affidavit says that 500 agitators led by Rev. Eugine H. Perera, Fr. Lawrance Kulas, Fr. George Patrick, Fr. Phivovius, Fr. Shain, Fr. Ashmin John, Fr. Sajas Ignatius, Fr. Antony, Fr. A. R. John and Sherly trespassed into the Seaport area with an intent to obstruct the implementation of the orders of the High Court and destroyed window pains of Seaport Office, tube lights and CCTV cameras.
The Police say that seven FIRs were registered in connection with the violence that happened on November 26. The affidavit says that pursuant to the violence of November, 26, when five persons were arrested on November 27, around 3000 persons "sieged Vizhinjam Police Station" and "vandalized the Police Station".
"The violent mob also attacked the Police persons and injured them grievously. Besides, they even obstructed the ambulances and rescue persons who came to shift the injured Police persons to Hospitals. The mob also destructed 6 Police department vehicles parked in the Station compound and outside. The mob also destructed 20 private vehicles parked near the public road. The window panes, water purifier, furniture, CCTV cameras, lights etc. were destructed by the mob", the affidavit says.
The affidavit says that on receiving intimation about the incident, an additional Police force led by the Commissioner reached the police station and had to use gas shells/grenades including 19 MV IV Grenades, 38 MK II Grenades, 60 Stun Shell, 71 LR Shell to disperse the mob.
The affidavit says that 64 police officials were injured in the attack.
As per the Commissioner, for the attack on the police station, an FIR has been registered for offences under Section 143, 145, 147, 149, 353 332, 324, 326, 307, 455, 294(b), and 506(ii) of IPC and Section 3 of the PDPP Act against 3000 identifiable persons and approximate loss of Rs. 85 Lakhs.
Earlier, a video had emerged of a Christian Pastor addressing the protesters and saying that police have arrested six protesters and if one more protester is arrested, they would surround that police station. "If any one of us is arrested for any reason, we will change our methods. Then we won't respect the court's orders. Then the protest will be outside Police Station and if necessary we will burn the Police Station. I say this because there is a history of burning Police Station", the Pastor was seen saying in the viral video.
The High Court has passed a series of orders in the case. In November, the Court had said that the state and the people cannot be held to ransom by blocking the route to the Vizhinjam port and ordered that its directions be implemented.