Kochi: The political class cutting across ideological barriers rallying behind the upmarket apartment owners at Maradu has led to sharp reactions in many discussion groups on social media platforms. Many of them cited the complete silence of political leaders when ordinary folks were evicted from their dwelling units in the name of various development projects.
The most cited incident by activists is the forcible eviction of people from Moolampally in Kochi in order to set up rail and road connectivity for the Vallarpadam Transshi-pment Container Termi-nal in 2008 February.
Protect Mangalavanam, a discussion group in Whatsapp reproduced comments, reports and pictures of police action at Moolampally. A senior official in Kochi corporation, who declined to reveal his identity, said, “Let the builders fight with whoever they think have cheated them. This is certainly not an issue to be taken up by civil society,” he said. A discussant in Dalit Resistance Conference, another Wh-atsapp group questioned the demand of former High Court judge Kemal Pasha that the state should provide compensation to the flat owners.
The Child Welfare Committee, currently rushing to Maradu, was not seen at Moolampally to counsel or provide relief to children terrified by the police action, said Prasanth Sarangadharan a human rights activists in a Facebook post.
Many others shared photographs of people pleading with cops and others not to demolish their dwelling units. Actor Shammi Thilakan in a Facebook post questioned the humanitarian concern for apartment owners in Maradu while no such feelings were expressed for the victims of Moolampally.
Charles George, president, Kerala Matsyathozhilali Aikyavedi and a veteran in exposing CRZ violations by major private entrepreneurs in and around Kochi says the double standards of our political class is visible in the Maradu issue.
“I am not against the apartment owners in Maradu. But, political leadership and bureaucracy in the state should not be allowed to exploit the sympathy for them to whitewash the all CRZ violations in the state,” he said.
Jaison Cooper, a human rights activist in Kochi, has questioned the strategic silence by some of the green activists on the issue.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, CPM leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai and many other political leaders have joined the chorus against the Supreme Court verdict highlighting the humanitarian issue involved in the decision of the apex court....