The Action Council against the polluting Nitta Gelatin India Limited (NGIL) at Kathikudam, near Chalakkudy in Thrissur district in Kerala State has been on peaceful and democratic protests and relay hunger strike since 2008 to invite public attention and government action defending the human and Constitutional rights of the people to live in a safe environment.
Recently the Radio tracer lab of Kerala Agricultural University has declared that the sludge from NGIL, being marketed by the company to innocent farmers as good manure, contains heavy metals at dangerous level and is harmful to humans, animals and vegetation. However, the company is using its undue influence with police and law enforcement agencies, to continue to transport the hazardous waste in heavy trucks to undisclosed destinations.
Yesterday, 2nd September 2010, Action Council members, including women, blocked trucks carrying hazardous waste from plying on the public street lest they should cause health problems in the locality.
The company management called police who forcibly arrested the Action Council members on fabricated criminal charges.
Male policemen assaulted two women activists, Thressiamma Mathew and MC Radha. The women were released in the evening from the police stations, but other members of the Action Council Anilkumar (President), Sunilkumar, M.C.Gopi, P.C.Gopi, Polachan Gopuram, Thankachan, Joji Thelakkatt and Jinson were remanded to Sub Jail at Irinjalakkuda at 8.00 pm.
Appeal for urgent action
Those who can, please call the Chief Minister of Kerala and ask him to intervene immediately. The situation at Kathikudam is very tense. We are afraid, it may develop into a law and order problem which will ultimately go in favour of the polluting company.
To contact the Chief Minster (his PA Mr.Suresh): 9447711500
Please phone and fax and tell Nitta Gelatin what you think of them
Nitta Gelatin India Limited
50/1002, SBT Avenue,
Cochin 682 036, India
Phone: +91 484 4099444, 2317805
Fax: +91 484 2310568
For details, call: 9249875613 (Jayan); 9745143069 (Anilkumar); 9946740289 (Gopi)
Cerin Pathrose, Nitta Gelatin’s PR spokesperson, comments
“This is a lopsided report. For an accurate account of it please check this Hindu report“.
Thank you Cerin. Well, to save our readers the trouble, here is the story.
Nitta Gelatin: 12 activists held
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, THRISSUR The police arrested 12 activists of the Nitta Gelatin India Limited Action Council after they allegedly blocked lorries transporting waste from the Nitta Gelatin India Limited and smashed the windscreens of a vehicle each at Kathikudam and Karayaparambu on Thursday.
The Koratty police arrested eight activists after they allegedly blocked two lorries and pelted another with stones at Kathikudam around 7 a.m. The arrested are K.M. Anil Kumar, convener of the council, K.M. Sunil Kumar, P.C. Gopi, M.C. Gopi, Joji Thelekkattu, Paulachan, Jinson and Thankachan. “The arrested refused to furnish bail applications. When they were produced before the Chalakudy Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, the arrested refused to apply for bail and were remanded in judicial custody,” an officer with the Koratty police said.
The Koratty police arrested Thresiamma Mathew and Radha around 8 a.m. under Section 151 (detention to prevent perpetration of cognisable offences) of the Code of Criminal Procedure after they blocked lorries. They were released later.
The Angamaly police arrested Jayan Joseph Pattathu and Johnson after they allegedly blocked a lorry transporting waste from NGIL when it reached Karayaparambu and smashed its windscreen. They were released on bail later.
NGIL activists said that waste allegedly contained hazardous material. “A few studies have proved this. The Action Council plans a series of protest measures from Friday,” said K.M. Anil Kumar, convener of the council.
D. Ravindranath, executive director of NGIL, said the activists attacked the lorries without any provocation. “On Wednesday, they had threatened the company with serious consequences if waste was transported,” he said.
The stories differ only in the allegations that two windscreens were smashed by stonethrowing. There is no denial of the Action Council’s claim that the lorries were carrying hazardous material. So bhopal.net will be checking this story out in much greater detail. We will seek a statement from the Action Council, asking for a detailed description of the action, and will be seeking a statement from Netti Gelatin about what heavy metals and other toxins have been sold as fertilizer and what the composition of the material of the truck shipments was, and where they were heading.
Watch this space.