Mangaluru: The Nagarika Horata Samiti in association with DYFI staged a protest against the district administration in front of the DC office here, on September 4. Protesters marched in a procession from the Taluk office which culminated near the DC office.
Addressing the protesters, DYFI state president Muneer Katipalla said that the protest was being held by the people against the arrest of the residents of Jokatte. “Because of good hearted people, we have been given bail. We had been arrested several times when we protested for justice. From the past one year, Jokatte villagers have been facing severe health problems due to noise, dust and water pollution. Many of the villagers are also suffering from skin diseases. The main reason for this is the Coke and Sulphur plant which should be shut down immediately. In this connection, we have held several protests but the district administration did not listen to the cries of the poor people.”
He further said that on September 3, MRPL was carrying out the corridor road work at Jokatte and DYFI activists protested against it, resulting in their arrest. “While we were protesting, the Suratkal police arrested 11 women and 7 men. After sometime, the police released us. Later, more people from Jokatte joined the protest and did not allow the work to continue, the police arrested 16 more people. When we went to the police station to release the protesters, we found out that non-bailable cases were filed against us. This is the first time in history we had to wait till midnight to get an interim bail. It is because of the good judge that the bail was given to three of us or else we would have been behind bars till September 5.”
He further said that so far the people of DK did not shout any slogans against the deputy commissioner but the people of Jokatte are now shouting slogans against the DC. “When street vendors sell goods to fill their stomach, they will be penalized but when MRPL is violating the rules and spoiling the health of the residents of Jokatte, the District administration is not taking any action against it. Some police in Suratkal station are also acting as agents of MRPL. When the police cannot take action against MRPL, why are they assaulting innocent residents?” he questioned.
Muneer concluded saying, “We will not stop our agitation till we get justice.” President of Nagarika Horata Samiti Hussain, Santosh, Yadav Shetty, Dayanand Shetty, Imtiyaz, Rafiq Harekala and others were also present.