Mangaluru: The Surathkal police arrested DYFI state president Muneer Katipalla and 34 others for obstructing the Mangalore Special Economic Zone authorities from carrying out the corridor road work at Jokatte here, on September 3.
Speaking to Mangalorean.com, Muneer Katipalla said that the Jokatte Nagarika Horata Samiti along with DYFI has been fighting against this project for a long time. “The air and water pollution from MRPL’s Coke and Sulphur Recovery Units has made life difficult for the people in the area. We have demanded to solve the problems that the people of the area face before continuing the corridor work. On September 3, they brought an order from the deputy commissioner to continue the work.”
He further said that when the workers began their work, the DYFI did not allow them to continue the work and demanded the closure of the coke and sulphur units. “While we were protesting, the Suratkal police arrested 11 women and 7 men. Later, more people from the Jokatte area joined the protest and did not allow the work to be continued. The police again arrested 16 more people.”
Katipalla also said that the samiti members and other residents had stopped movement of heavy vehicles towards the MSEZ area on Friday and carried out demonstrations. On Saturday, MSEZ personnel came with their materials to the corridor road to start the work. They were accompanied by a large number of policemen. The samiti members and residents blocked the way and refused to allow the resumption of work. MSEZ personnel said that the work cannot be stopped as there were orders from the court against any obstruction.
The vice president of Jokatte Gram Panchayat Samsuddin was assaulted by the police, he added.