Tiruvottriyur Kuppam consists of about 4000 residents whose main occupation is fishing.

Do not want petrol pipeline goons and cops are coercing us TN fishing village protests
news Protest Thursday, June 29, 2017 - 12:19

About 200 people from Thiruvottriyur Kuppam, a fishing hamlet, gathered outside the Commissioner’s office in Chennai alleging that they were being beaten up by police and goons for protesting against Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL) project and were being forced to sign a no-objection certificate for the project.

Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL) project proposes to lay a pipeline that will be running from Chennai Port to Manali and it will be running through Thiruvottriyur Kuppam. The residents want the commissioner to take immediate action and do not want the pipeline to pass through their area as they fear groundwater contamination. 

Thiruvottriyur Kuppam consists of about 4000 residents whose main occupation is fishing. “On Saturday, we carried out a protest against the CPCL project because the pipeline will be going through our area and the petrol can get mixed with our groundwater,” said a resident from the area.

However, the residents of the village allege that they are being coerced into signing no-objection document. They also allege that the police are supporting the goons and have refused to file complaints against the them. 

“We had filed a petition to the district administration and now to the commissioner but no action has been taken against the people troubling us,” said the resident.

The police arrested eight people from the area alleging that they were resorting to violence on Saturday, said a resident. “The police have been repeatedly beating up men in our area for protesting against the project. Four men were beaten up in custody also and they do not allow us to gather for protest,” said a resident.

The inspector of the H-8 police station in New Washermenpet confirmed that they had arrested eight men and have kept them in custody for being violent. He said that normalcy has been restored in the Kuppam and refused to comment any further.

However, the residents claim that it was MLA K Kuppa’s son Karthik, a sub-contractor with CPCL and other powerful people who resorted to violence.  “Often goons are sent to our village who ask us to sign a no-objection certificate and they beat up our men because of which many of our men have gone into hiding,” said a resident.

This story was first published by The New Indian Express.