On Sunday, residents of Vellayil and surrounding areas of Kozhikode celebrated Bakrid at the Avikkal Thodu anti-STP protest site, issuing a statement against the Company’s decision to set up a sewage treatment plant there ( PLS).
Avikkal Thodu’s anti-STP protest committee organized a unique friendly meeting at the pavilion where they have been protesting for seven months. The pavilion, which was repeatedly destroyed by the police or the Corporation, was erected again and hundreds of people, including women and children, gathered at the scene. They distributed payasam and spent the day there, insisting they would not back down from the protest.
The committee has erected a board on the site listing organizations, sports clubs, youth organizations, local units, religious and political outfits, which have given their support to the protest in writing. “All kinds of people are with us, regardless of politics, religion or profession. The terrorism allegation is just their way of undermining our cause and creating a diversion,” said Dawood T., chairman of the protest committee, adding that the friendly encounter was a response to those allegations.
Police had slapped Section 107 of the Indian Penal Code (for false statement or concealment of facts) against a few protest leaders a week ago, which prevented them from participating in further protests.