Fishermen protest at financial aid distribution function
A function organised by the State government to distribute financial assistance to the fishermen who lost livelihood means due to the Vizhinjam International Seaport, at Vizhinjam on Wednesday, witnessed unruly scenes with a section of fishermen owing allegiance to the Muslim Jamat gheraoing Ports Minister Ahammad Devarkovil and disrupting the traffic for a while along the national highway demanding a fair deal for them.
The protestors led by the Vizhinjam North Muslim Jamat tried to gherao the Minister alleging that a section of fishermen were excluded from the compensation package announced by the State government. They alleged that beneficiaries from Vizhinjam South were mainly included in the list of beneficiaries. The police who failed to take note of the groundswell, later, removed the protestors forcefully from the area.
However, they blocked the highway for a while, disrupting traffic and causing traffic snarls along the national highway. Mr. Devarkovil later assured the protestors that all the eligible beneficiaries would be considered for the compensation package of the State. The protestors had informed the government of their demands earlier. The district administration in turn informed that a delegation led by the District Collector and Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL) officials would visit the place to study their demand, he said.
Emphasising that the State has no issues with anyone, the Minister said the reasonable demands of the protestors would be considered. The State is even ready to hold talks with the protestors. The beneficiaries were selected based on applications submitted by the fishermen. The policy of the LDF government is to safeguard all those who lose their means of livelihood for development projects, added the Minister.
Amid the protest, the authorities distributed financial assistance to the tune of ₹2.22 crore sanctioned by the government as compensation to the traditional fishermen who use catamaran fishing vessels for fishing and who lost their jobs in connection with the construction of Vizhinjam International Seaport. A total of 56 fishermen received compensation at the function.
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