Protesters and police clashed over the port of Adani in Kerala, India; Over 80 injuries

Protesters and police clashed over the port of Adani in Kerala, India;  Over 80 injuries
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  • Billionaire Adani’s mega port project rocked by protests
  • Police clashed with protesters late Sunday as tensions escalate
  • Dispute over port construction causing coastal erosion
  • Adani said he has all the necessary permits for port development

KOCHI, India November 28 (Reuters) – Villagers in India clash with police in Kerala state, protesting Adani Group’s halting construction of the $900 million Vizhinjam port project, injuring more than 80. strike.

Protests by a predominantly Christian fishing community against the project, led by billionaire Gautam Adani’s $23 billion port business, have forced the latter to shut down work on the port, which is seen as a potential and lucrative competitor to those in Dubai, Singapore and Sri Lanka. .

there is a building stopped for over three months after villagers blamed the development of the port for coastal erosion and depriving them of their livelihoods. They erected a 1,200-square-foot shelter and sealed off the entrance to the site.

Over the weekend, police arrested some protesters. Blocked Adani’s construction vehicles from entering the port despite the court order for the work to continue.

The arrests prompted hundreds of protesters led by Catholic priests to march to the police station late Sunday night, resulting in clashes with staff and damage to police vehicles, according to a police document and local television footage.

One of the protest leaders, Joseph Johnson, said at least 46 protesters were injured. Senior local police official MR Ajith Kumar told Reuters 36 police officers were injured in the clashes.

Another police official, who asked not to be named, said security was strengthened by deploying more than 600 police officers in Vizhinjam after the incident.

Located at the southern tip of India, the port aims to connect to lucrative East-West trade routes, contributing to the global reach of the business community led by Adani, the richest man in Asia and the third richest in the world.

The Adani Group did not respond to a request for comment on the weekend protests. The company said the port complies with all laws, citing studies that show it’s not linked to shoreline erosion. The state government also said any erosion was due to natural causes.

In recent clashes, the police case document states that protesters “arrived at the police station with deadly weapons and took the police hostage, threatening to set the station on fire if the detainees were not released.”

Eugine H. Pereira, deputy archdiocese and a protest leader, said the police pelted the protesters with stones.

The port protests are reminiscent of the backlash Adani faced in Australia over the Carmichael coal mine. Activists there, concerned about carbon emissions and damage to the Great Barrier Reef, forced Adani to cut production targets and delayed the mine’s first coal shipment for six years.

Protests in India continued despite repeated orders from Kerala state’s top court to allow construction to resume. The police were largely reluctant, fearing that taking action would trigger social and religious tensions. Reuters previously reported.

On Monday, the court re-listened to Adani’s concerns and asked the state administration why the decision to allow port construction to continue was not implemented. The judge asked state officials to provide a response by Friday.

The Adani conglomerate is borne by one-third of the cost of the project, with the rest being borne by the state and federal governments. It has a 40-year contract to build and operate the port.

Written by Aditya Kalra; Additional reporting by Arpan Chaturvedi; Fiction by Clarence Fernandez, Miral Fahmy and Bernadette Baum

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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