Adani, not Kerala Govt, requested Central force at Vizhinjam: Antony Raju

Antony Raju (Photo - FB/Antony Raju)
Minister Antony Raju. Photo: Facebook/Antony Raju

Thiruvananthapuram: Minister Antony Raju on Saturday said the Kerala government has not requested to deploy Central forces in the Vizhinjam port area. "It is the Adani group that urged the Centre to send security forces. The state government was only asked for its opinion on the matter by the High Court," said Raju.

He also said the government sees no reason to oppose the request. "The court has directed the state and Centre to jointly make a call in this regard and inform," he added.

He further said the final decision in this matter rested with the court.

Defending minister V Abdurahiman's remarks on the Vizhinjam agitation, Raju said no minister belonging to the Left Democratic Front has called the anti-Vizhinjam port protesters terrorists.

"If you listen to his speech carefully, it will become clear that Minister Abdurahiman has not called anyone a terrorist," said Raju.

The minister also accused the Congress of trying to hijack the Vizhinjam protest. "It's the Congress that proposed the project in the state. However, it is the very same Congress that is trying to create problems now. The Opposition has been spreading rumours that the chief minister is not ready to talk to the anti-port agitators. The government's door is always open for all who want to discuss their issues related to Vizhinjam," said Raju.

Raju further laid out the relief work the left government has engaged in for those affected by the port's construction.

"The government has already provided rent to 182 people who had to be rehabilitated after they lost their homes to coastal erosion. We are ready to bear the housing expenses of the remaining affected people as well. The government allotted 10 acres of land to build houses for the fisherfolk. A sub-committee was appointed to discuss the issue of coastal erosion in Muthalapozhi. It is not possible to halt the project and conduct the study," stated Raju.

The other day, the state government informed the High Court that it has no objection to deploying Central forces for security purposes in the Vizhinjam port area. The stand came in response to the Adani Group's question of why was the state government hesitant to seek the help of Central forces. The court has also sought the Central government's take on this regard.

Fisherfolk led by the Latin Church is protesting against the upcoming Adani Port project at the Vizhinjam coast in the southern tip of Kerala. The fishing community blames the port construction activities for worsening sea erosion that has in turn affected their livelihood and wrecked properties along the shore. 

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