Violence breaks out in Kerala over implementation of Western Ghats report

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Thiruvananthapuram, November 15:  Protests have broken out in the hilly areas of Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram Wayand and Idukki districts of the state over implementation of five recommendations of the Kasturirangan report on the conservation of the Western Ghats

Widespread violence took place in Kannur and Kozhikode districts on Friday. Protesters stoned government and KSRTC vehicles and set fire to a forest office at Vilangad near Perambra. Two other offices of the Forest Department and other government offices and media persons also came under attack. Police had to use riot grenades at Thamarassery in Kozhikode district to disperse violent protesters. Some areas of hilly districts observed hartal.

Calling upon the people to desist from violent protests, The Chief Minster said that none were to be evicted under the order issued by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. The applied to only five kinds of development activities and there was still scope for review.

He told the media that the government would take steps to address the concerns of the people of the hilly areas. There was no ban on agricultural activities.

Ruling front constituency, Kerala Congress (Mani) is backing the agitation and announced that it would participate in the protests. The High Range Protection Council in Idukki district announced a 48-hour agitation including hartal from Saturday. Power houses would be picketed.

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