For Adani Port In Kerala, Support From Some, Fierce Opposition From Others: 10 points

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Police said security had been increased around Adani’s port project in Kerala’s Vizhinjam

New Delhi:
The Kerala police on Wednesday said they will not allow a Hindu group close to the ruling BJP to march in support of a mega $900-million port by the Adani Group amid tension over protests led by Catholic priests.

Here’s your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:

  1. Members of the Hindu United Front have announced a march to the port in Vizhinjam to pledge their support for a project they say will create jobs in the region.

  2. Construction has been stalled for almost four months by protesters from a fishing community who say the port, being built by Asia’s richest and the world’s third richest man, Gautam Adani, is causing erosion that has hit their livelihoods.

  3. Protesting villagers yesterday blocked trucks carrying construction material to the project site. An attempt by the police to intervene triggered clashes in which more than 80 people were injured.

  4. The police said security had been increased around the port to prevent the Hindu group from reaching it. Reinforcements have already been sent to the Vizhinjam area after more than 3,000 villagers stormed a police station in clashes on Sunday.

  5. “We have denied permission to the rally by the Hindu United Front. We have taken enough precautions to prevent it if the front defy the order,” Trivandrum Deputy Commissioner of Police Ajith V was quoted as telling Reuters.

  6. The port is of strategic importance to India. It is set to be India’s first container transhipment hub, rivalling Dubai, Singapore and Sri Lanka for business on the lucrative east-west trade routes. Both the Adani Group and the government of Kerala have denied accusations the port is causing environmental damage.

  7. Supporters of the port have set up their own shelter across the street from the protesters. Earlier, Hindu United Front member C Babu told Reuters they would go ahead with the rally.

  8. The protest has continued despite repeated orders by the Kerala High Court to allow construction to restart. However, police have so far been unwilling to take action, fearful that doing so will set off social and religious tensions.

  9. The first phase of construction was due to be completed by end-2024. The Adani Group has said in court filings that the protests have caused “immense loss” and “considerable delay”.

  10. Gautam Adani has also faced protests in Australia, where environmental activists had launched a “Stop Adani” movement to protest his Carmichael coal mine project in Queensland state.

With inputs from Reuters

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