Protesting fisherman killed in AP firing
The fishermen are on hunger strike demanding suspension of work on the Gangavaram private port.india Updated: Mar 27, 2006 14:11 IST
At least one fisherman was killed and two others were injured on Monday when the police fired to quell a protest against work on the Gangavaram port in Andhra Pradesh.
The protest in Visakhapatnam district took a violent turn when the police swooped down on leaders of the fishermen community.
The fishermen were on hunger strike for two days, demanding a halt to the work on the private port.
At least 20 policemen were injured when people threw stones to denounce the arrest of the leaders.
Police canned the mob that included women and used teargas shells, injuring dozens of protestors.
Policemen also opened fire, killing one fisherman.
Television footage showed police personnel chasing and beating up protestors.
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders in the state assembly alleged that two protestors, including a woman, had been killed in the police firing.
The authorities have imposed prohibitory orders in the area and arrested 50 people, including leaders of Left and other opposition parties.
The parties were protesting against the construction of the port by the DVS Raju consortium.
In Hyderabad, the main opposition Telugu Desam Party and the two communist parties stalled the assembly proceedings demanding a discussion on the issue.
The Communist Party of India and CPI-Marxist insisted that their adjournment motion be accepted and the house take up a debate.
Speaker KR Suresh Reddy had to adjourn the house twice.
Violence had also broken out in the area on Saturday when the police forcibly tried to shift the fishermen from the area.
The locals resisted the attempts on grounds that they would lose their livelihood because of the project.
The DVS Raju Consortium was awarded the state's first private port project by the erstwhile Telugu Desam government under public-private partnership with an investment of Rs 20 billion for the first phase.
The deepwater port threatens to displace 3,000 fishermen in Gangavaram and four other villages.
The government and the private developer were accused of launching the work without accepting the demands for relief and rehabilitation.
The fishermen have been demanding that the government construct a jetty, provide jobs to eligible members in the port and pay a compensation of Rs 300,000 to each displaced family.
The port, planned to meet the future requirements of the industrial corridor coming up in the coastal area, was first mooted in 2000.
It will be the deepest and only port in the country that can accommodate vessels of even 200,000 DWT (dead weight tonnage).