Press Trust of India
Kozhikode/Thiruvananthapuram, 15 November
A police vehicle was torched and government offices targeted in upland areas of Kozhikode district as violence today marred protests by local resistance groups against the Centre&’s decision to implement key suggestions of the Kasturiangan committee on Western Ghats conservation.
Ruling Congress-led UDF and the opposition LDF voiced concern over the ‘unilateral’ decision to implement the salient recommendations of the panel even as the Centre clarified that the direction it issued was not final.
A mob set ablaze a police jeep at Thamarassery and the police fired two rounds in the air after lathicharge at nearby Ativaram as protesters stoned vehicles and forest department offices.
The mob also attacked the vehicles of some Malayalam TV channels and damaged their cameras, channel sources said. According to police, tension prevailed in the area and additional forces have been rushed to bring the situation under control. ‘Karshaka Samrakshna Samiti’, which had been agitating over the issue with the support of political parties and the Church establishment, distanced itself from the violent incidents saying they could be the handiwork of goons who sneaked in to vitiate the atmosphere.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said Union Minister for Environment and Forest Jayanthi Natarajan had informed the state that the direction issued by the ministry was not final and still there was scope for remedy.