Terrorists Behind Protest at Puthuvype, Claim Police

Kochi: The people behind the anti-LPG terminal protest at Puthuvype here were terrorists, claimed the police today. Ernakulam Rural SP A.V. George said that during the protest on Sunday, police could spot some people who have links with terrorists.

According to him, he does not think that common people, including women, will venture into such a huge protest. Denying allegations of brutality on the police, he said that there was no human rights violation against the protesters.

Meanwhile, a dawn-to-dusk hartal was called by the Congress today at Vypeen in protest against the police attack on protesters, who were agitating against the setting up of an IOC plant at Puthuvype yesterday.

About 20 people were seriously injured when the protest against the construction of the plant at Puthuvype turned violent following which the police resorted to lathi-charge. They were shifted to the Ernakulam General Hospital and Kalamassery Government Medical College Hospital. Nearly 100 protesters, including 69 women, have been detained at the AR Camp, Kalamassery.

The residents of the area launched a stir against the construction of an LPG terminal at Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) plant at Puthuvype alleging that it was against the National Green Tribunal rules.

In an order last week, Ernakulam District Collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla had asked the police to give a security cover to the LPG terminal site. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has called a meeting of all those involved in the issue at his office in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday to find a solution. But the protesting group has rejected the invitation and decided to carry on with their agitation.

Kanam Rajendran Slams Police Action

Meanwhile, CPI State Secretary Kanam Rajendran opposed today the claim of the police that terrorists were behind the protest. He said that the police official raised the claim to justify the police action.

Kanam said the police action would undermine the value of the government’s activities. He also called for an urgent meeting regarding the police action against ordinary people.

Besides Kanam, Minister Mercykutty Amma also denounced the police lathi-charge.