March 20, 2018
Kochi: Kerala Government today rejected demands of protesters opposing the National Highway project at Keezhatoor in Kannur.
The fight against the project showed that there were people against national highways, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in the Assembly.
Fifty-six people had surrendered their land and only four more were left to part with the land required for laying the highway, he said. There was no use comparing Keezhatoor with Nandigram and Singoor. The party would not budge on trivial issues, he said.
The Government could not stop the work just because some CPM activists were involved in the protests.He said the only place through which the road could be laid was Keezhatoor. If the protesters were against laying road through Keezhatoor, they should show the alternative place, he said, adding that all parties should stand united for development.
He was responding to the allegations by VD Satheeshan of the Congress that the Government and the CPM were crushing the public movement. Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala of Congress said no one was against development.
The protest under the title ‘Vayalkiligal’ (farm birds) began in 2017 by CPM leader Suresh Keezhatoor and was later supported by BJP and CPI.
They were against reclaiming of paddy field for the project. The protest was called off under the condition that a different route would be used for laying the to road.
But the government failed to keep its promise and issued notification to take Keezhatoor route. The protest restarted and a few CPM men recently torched the shed where the protest was organised. Twelve persons were arrested in connection with this.