Police, people clash at Koottanadu
Protest against construction of control room of GAIL pipeline
Twenty local residents and seven police officials sustained injuries in a pitched battle involving police and agitators protesting against the construction of the control room of Kochi-Koottanadu-Mangaluru-Bengaluru natural gas pipeline project of the Gas Authority of India (GAIL) at a thickly populated area of Karimba near Koottanadu under Thrithala Assembly constituency on Tuesday morning.
Over hundred people sustained minor injuries when police resorted to lathi charge and exploding of teargas shells to disperse the protesters including women and children who gathered at the Karimba junction.
Pattambi Circle Inspector P. S. Suresh sustained serious injuries when the protesters resisted police attempts to remove the make-shift protest venue.
The police crackdown began after 11 a.m. in Karimba-Thaneerkodu region when the protesters pelted stones at the approaching force.
Protesters alleged that the police even went inside houses and beat up women and children. The police also confiscated over 150 two-wheelers and small cars saying they were used by the protesters who attacked the cops. Higher police officials confirmed that they used three rounds of tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.
Twenty five leaders of the protest were also arrested by the police. Local MLA V. T. Balaram, who led a road roko protesting the police action, alleged that the Chief Minister was supporting the GAIL project without hearing the grievances of the local community.