KOLLAM: Congress leaders Ramesh Chennithala, Oommen Chandy and V.M. Sudheeran visited Alappad here on Monday declaring solidarity with the protests against black sand mining. Mr. Ramesh rubbished Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan's comment that it was people from Malappuram who were conducting the protests.
“Jayarajan should withdraw his comment and apologise to the people. His remark that those who protest at Alappad are the people from Malappuram should be condemned,” he added. He also demanded the immediate intervention of the chief minister to resolve the issue.
Mr. Jayarajan had said earlier that it was not mining, but tsunami that gnawed the land area of Alappad and that the mining by Indian Rare Earth Ltd. will not be stopped.
Meanwhile, the IRE employees who met Mr. Chennithala said that stopping sand mining would adversely affect their livelihood. Tension prevailed for some time after the employees and protesters engaged in a verbal clash.
The protesters have completed 75 days of relay hunger strike.
Alappad grama panchayat in Karunagappally taluk is located as a narrow strip between the TS canal and the Arabian sea in coastal Kollam.