Police action against agitating people at Puthuvype has led to a political furore, putting state government on the back foot. CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran and state minister J Mercykutty Amma criticised the police for resorting to caning which resulted in serious injuries to 23 persons.
Meanwhile, Kerala Administrative Reforms Commission chairman V S Achuthanandan wrote to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asking to order a comprehensive probe and to suspend Police Deputy Commissioner Yatish Chandra from service.
Meanwhile, Inspector General P Vijayan said that the police was only trying to implement court order which had granted permission for the plant in the area.
The police action against striking people of Puthuvype, a coastal hamlet in Kochin, where the residents are agitating against the storage facility of IOC, has put Kerala government in a spot. Over 1,000 families residing within the one-kilometre radius of the plant had been protesting against alleged environmental hazards posed by the plant and possibility of an explosion in the area. Police resorted to lathi-charge while agitators allegedly tried to breach the security and storm the site. Meanwhile, agitators said the police used force against them while they were protesting peacefully.
As many as 20 persons were injured, and over 150 persons were arrested. Though the arrested were produced before the court, they were not ready to put on the bail application.
The opposition parties also condemned the incident and called for a hartal in the area on Monday. Following this, Chief Minister announced that he would hold a meeting with stakeholders on June 21, at Thiruvananthapuram. However, protestors said that they are not ready to go to the capital city for the meeting.
The IOC has temporarily suspended the works of the project after CM's intervention.