The ongoing protests over the development of a port in Vizhinjam, some 20 kilometres from the state capital, got violent on Sunday when police and demonstrators clashed. According to police authorities with knowledge of the incident, at least nine cops were hurt during the altercation.
Conflicts erupted after demonstrators surrounded the Vizhinjam police station following the filing of a FIR on Saturday against the Archbishop and auxiliary bishop of Thiruvananthapuram, Thomas J. Netto. In the protest, Netto has been in the fore.
During the two-hour siege, several police cars suffered damage.
According to a senior officer privy to developments, the police then resorted to baton charge and fired several rounds in the air to disperse the crowd.
According to a report by news agency PTI, four police jeeps and a minivan were damaged in the clash and nine police officials were injured. They were shifted to various hospitals, the report said, citing officials familiar with the matter.
After protesters demanded a halt to all construction, work on the multi-utility mother port was halted for more than three months.
They claimed that the government had broken past commitments on rehabilitation and that large-scale building and breakwater projects would negatively affect their way of life.
Under the direction of the Latin Catholic church diocese in the state capital, the fishing community put out a seven-point list of demands to put an end to their protest, including a halt to all construction activities, which the government rejected.