Kerala: Anti-LPG Terminal Protesters Lathi-Charged, 20 Hospitalised

Narendra Modi

Kochi: After the police atrocity on a crowd of agitating locals at Puthuvype on Sunday drew flak from various quarters, the government ordered to stop the works on LPG import terminal of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).

They were shifted to the Ernakulam General Hospital and Kalamassery Government Medical College Hospital.

In a related development, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan made a decision to hold a meeting with all stakeholders on June 21 at his office in Thiruvananthapuram to discuss the issue, officials said today.

Opposition parties condemned the police lathicharge with the Congress calling for a day-long hartal in the locality tomorrow. Meanwhile, the Welfare Party, Aam Admi Party, CPI (ML) Red Star, and Matsya Thozhilali Federation have called for a hartal in Ernakulam district on Monday.

"As the ground for further protest does not exist, the protesters are asked to withdraw their protest", he said.

The protesters demanded action against police for using force against them while they were staging a "peaceful protest".

The residents started a sit-in under the aegis of Puthuvype LPG Terminal Virudha Janakeeya Samara Samithi.

"We were laying siege in front of the project site when stones were thrown on them from inside the terminal". The agitators said that the construction of the plant was being carried out after violating the interim order issued by the National Green Tribunal.

Local people at Elankunnappuzha village panchayat, near Kochi, have been on the war path against the construction of the LPG terminal at Puthuvype.

However, the police came to the spot to remove the protesters forcibly on Sunday morning and a scuffle broke out. The agitators were demanding the shifting of the International Olympic Committee plant.

The CPI said Vijayan should confess that he can not control the police.

Kochi: Condemning the police action on protesters, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the people's protest could not be suppressed.

The protesters of Putuvype, who have intensified their agitation against the Indian Oil Corporation's project since last week, alleged scores of people, including women and children, were injured in the "brutal" police action.

Local residents claimed that they were staging a peaceful protest but it turned violent as someone purposefully threw stones from the International Olympic Committee compound.

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