Anti-GAIL stir: Govt calls all-party meet

With the United Democratic Front (UDF) throwing its weight behind the anti-GAIL pipeline agitation, the State government has chose to hold talks with the action committee at the Kozhikode collectorate on Monday.

District Collector U.V. Jose said representatives of all political parties had been informed about the meeting at 4 p.m.

The government is trying to alleviate the anxieties of the people over the project.

The police are now claiming that those behind the violence and the organization of the protests had links with extremist groups.

UDF leaders including VM Sudheeran and PK Kunhalikutty MP visited Mukkam.

After the meeting, he said that this is a protest seeking proper compensation. The UDF fully supported the anti-GAIL agitation. She said the police even barged into toilets to take away people.

Throwing his weight behind the police action, the CPI (M) state secretary said that the police had to resort baton charging of the protestors because of the attitude of certain vested interests who are bent on not allowing developmental activities of any sort.

Mr. Kunhalikutty warned that the UDF would be forced to join the strike if the State government did not intervene.

Under GAIL's Kochi-Koottanad-Bengaluru-Mangaluru LNG project, pipes will be laid for about 80 km in the district.

The protest turned violent in the past two days with the agitators allegedly pelting stones and blocking roads when when GAIL officials reached the place to continue land acquisition process for the project.

A people's action council have been on the warpath against land acquisition for the GAIL pipeline project in Kozhikode and Malappuram.

However, the agitators said that they are not ready to hold discussions unless the pipeline works are brought to a halt. Director General of Police (North Zone) Rajesh Dewan said the protection would be given to GAIL workers for carrying out the project.

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