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Kerala Silver Line project's stone laying halted temporarily as protests erupt again

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Kerala Silver Line projects stone laying halted temporarily as protests erupt again
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Visuals from clashes between protestors and police on April 21 (Photo/ANI)

Thiruvananthapuram: The resumption of the survey stone laying work for the Kerala government's ambitious K-Rail project was halted temporarily after witnessing ugly scenes on Thursday with clashes between the demonstrators and police personnel at the state capital.

As per a PTI report, several people were injured during the clashes, with five people admitted to various hospitals. Police also ordered an inquiry after some officials were seen kicking and beating protesters. One of the protestors fell unconscious during the scuffle. Congress leader V D Satheesan later called on the injured at the hospital.

Earlier, the survey was suspended for two weeks given the party congress in Kannur, and it was resumed on Thursday.

"It is yet another example of police brutality. CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat should come and see how police are behaving in the party-ruled state instead of going to Jehangirpuri in Delhi. Aged protestors were kicked and dragged ruthlessly," Satheesan said. He said cops who commit atrocities must understand that they are attacking the people who elected the government in power.

Minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan also condemned the police action on protestors.

"It seems the government has given a free hand to the police to suppress popular unrest against a project that will never take up. The union railway ministry and other departments have already made their positions clear," he said in Delhi. The Kerala Catholic Bishops' Conference also decried police action on protestors.

In north Kerala's Kannur, protestors blocked officials and removed stones laid by them under the leadership of state Congress president K Sudhakaran. "We are ready to fill jails if the government goes ahead with the project that will spell doom for the state," he said in Kannur.

CPI(M) leader A Vijayarahghavan later said the government would go ahead with the project after taking people into confidence.

Since the ₹63,941 crore K Rail project was announced two years ago, opposition parties and a section of environmentalists have been opposing it. They said the project was announced without any study, and it will pose a huge financial burden and destroy ecologically-sensitive areas. But the ruling front insists that it will be a game-changer and attract enough investment and reduce carbon emissions.

The ruling LDF had organized a meeting in Thiruvananthapuram last week, and CM Pinarayi Vijayan reiterated that the government would go ahead with the project. He accused opposition parties of sabotaging the development of the state. "We are given the mandate to fulfill our promises made to the people. It is a project meant for future generations also. The opposition should shed its destructive politics," he had said.

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TAGS:K railSilver Line Project
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