After final talks with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the protesters called off their strike, ending an over 130-day-long stand-in against the sea port that is still being built at Vizhinjam.
The agitation came to an end, according to Vicar General Eugene Pereira, who had been leading the protests.
According to sources cited by news agency ANI, the state government has reportedly promised to provide people who lose their homes with a monthly rent payment of Rs 5,500, provide subsidies for boat fuel, and complete the present flat repair work in a year.
According to PTI, Pereira explained that the protest was being suspended because it had reached a certain point and would continue if necessary, rather than because the demonstrators were happy with the promises provided by the state government.
For the past few months, the fishermen have held protests in front of the multipurpose seaport’s main entrance in the neighbouring town of Mulloor. They claim that the port was artificial and that if you go inside, you can see massive sand dunes that were dredged out of the sea and piled up.
They have been pressing for the fulfilment of their seven-point charter of demands in relation to the multi-crore project, which includes stopping the building and studying the potential impacts on the coastline.
A few days ago, the Vizhinjam Police detained five protesters after a scuffle in Thiruvananthapuram over allegations that they had blocked trucks. This is when the fishermen’s unrest turned violent. Four of the protesters were later released, out of a total of five.
These trucks were transporting supplies for the Adani Group’s Vizhinjam port construction. The alleged altercation started when one group of people blocked these vehicles in protest of the construction of Vizhinjam Port and another group opposed them.