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PM Modi faced terrorist threat during Kochi trip, says Kerala police chief

Kerala DGP TP Senkumar said extremist outfits were funding protests against the LPG plant of the Indian Oil Corporation.

india Updated: Jun 20, 2017 20:33 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Narendra Modi,Prime Minister,Modi in Kochi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inauguration of the Kochi Metro.(HT Photo)

The Prime Minister faced a terrorist threat during his visit to Kochi last week, Kerala police chief TP Senkumar said on Tuesday to justify the clampdown against protesters lining Narendra Modi’s route.

People from Puthuvype, a coastal hamlet on the outskirts of the port city, massed along Modi’s route to flag off the maiden run of the metro rail a day before his visit. They have been protesting against a cooking gas plant being built in the area.

The DGP said extremist outfits were funding the protests against the LPG plant of the Indian Oil Corporation.

“We had information about a terror module. During the PM visit we can’t take any chance. So, the police removed protesters staging a sit-in on the road the PM had to take a day before his visit,” he said.

But he refused to divulge any details about the module.

“Protesters tried to block the road to be taken by the PM’s convoy. They came in large numbers without permission. Police had little option but to remove them forcibly,” he said.

The CPI, one of the constituents of the ruling LDF, dismissed the police chief’s remarks.

“He is coming out with a new theory to justify police excesses on innocent people. We will not allow this to happen. The IOC has to stop work immediately,” said CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran.

The CPI and Congress pledged their support to the public protest, though chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan warned protesters against any attempt to scuttle development projects.

Work on the protest-hit LPG plant resumed two weeks ago after the Kerala high court and the national green tribunal cleared it. But public unrest has increased simultaneously, forcing police to lathi-charge protesters trying to enter the site.

Police justified their action saying they were implementing the high court order to help start work.

First Published: Jun 20, 2017 19:16 IST