We do not want to see a repeat-performance of Muthanga: Appeal against Police Violence at Kathikudam

[When he finished recounting a glorious story of struggle by fisher folk against an obnoxious, oppressive feudal lord in a coastal village in Kerala, a senior activist told me: “But we can’t rest … the places where the poor live in Kerala are being taken over again … this time to be waste-dumps of the rich. This village can’t be an exception.” He was referring to the heavy pollution caused by the high-end pleasure resorts mushrooming around the village. Indeed, in all districts of Kerala, local struggles are becoming all the more frequent against the pillage of the earth to satisfy consumerist greed of the predatory rich and the shameless dumping of waste in areas where the poor live. The people of Kathikudam have been fighting a long battle — not just against the Nitta Gelatine factory’s heavily polluting practices which have nearly destroyed the Chalakudi river, wetlands in the area, extracting a huge toll on animal, and plant life in the region  and causing immense difficulties to local people there.  They are also condemning the company’s stealthy attempts to dump waste in distant border adivasi areas. Yesterday the police unleashed bestial violence against protestors, which has been widely condemned in the state.

Below is an appeal in protest signed by concerned intellectuals and activists. If the present UDF government considers itself to be above being a bunch of wheeler-dealers whose sole interest is grabbing the crumbs that fall from the table of predatory capital, they must act decisively and justly against this wanton disrespect to democracy on the part of the police they control. Those who wish to endorse the appeal may please indicate so in the comments]

We, the undersigned, are shocked to hear and read about the unfortunate and avoidable response of the police in the handling of the peaceful protest against thee pollution by Nitta Gelatin Company Limited has been creating in the village of Kathikudam in Thrissur District of Kerala.
The police attack on the protest has been brutal and the violence is against the people of the village who have been denied justice in the wake of insufferable pollution, which has been causing severe damage to the air, water, soil and agriculture of this region for three decades. This is what prompted the protestors to take action in the form of removing the pipe that carries effluents to the river.
We understand that women and children have been arrested and the behavior of the police has been very abusive; besides, the police forcibly entered nearby homes and caused considerable damage to property. More than 70 of the protestors are in various hospitals in Angamaly and Chalakudy seeking medical help for the injuries they suffered. Some are in the ICU with more serious injuries.

We believe that democracy should give ample space for citizens to express their dissent and  they must be listened to. We fear that people may be forced to resort to violence if such spaces are denied to them. We wish to state that Kerala cannot witness again such police violence as was unleashed on the tribal protestors at Muthanga in 2003 when the UDF was in power.

Attur Ravi Varma


Civic Chandran

Sara Joseph

Ajitha. K




J Devika

Ambikasudan Mangad



Charu Nivedita

Dr Khadija Mumtaz

K K Kochu

K K Baburaj

Rekha Raj

M R Renukumar

Prakash Bare

M A Rahman

A K Jayasree

Prof P Geetha

Kalpetta Narayanan

U K Kumaran

Anvar Ali

K R Meera

T Peter

K P Sasi

Dr A Achyutan

Dr Khadija Mumtaz


Charu Nivedita


Prof Shobheendran

Dr Ajaysekhar

Ambikasudan Mangad

Dr A Latha

 M A Nazir

KK Surendran

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