Kattupalli Kuppam in Chennai won’t cast a ballot because he is upset about ports

About 150 families from Kattupalli Kuppam in Ponneri have chosen to boycott the Lok Sabha elections in protest of the L&T and Adani Kattupalli ports’ refusal to reinstate the ten fishermen who were previously accused in a clash case, despite the fact that a court had cleared them more than two years before. On Friday, the day of the election, they will host a hunger strike and hang black flags over the homes.

In order to start building the Kattupalli port, the government moved these residents to Kattupalli Kuppam. The ports extended job offers to the local fisherman. Ten or so of the village’s fisherman were suspended from their jobs in the meanwhile after the police filed criminal charges against them in relation to a fight that broke out nearby.

As a result, on February 24, 2016, the port workers’ cooperative organization also suspended these fishermen’s membership. The trial in the case came to an end on February 25, 2022, when the Judicial Magistrate Court in Ponneri declared the ten fishermen not guilty.

Soon after, membership in the cooperative society was also granted again. The port administration is still reluctant to call them back for duty, however. “We battled the matter, and the court properly cleared us of all charges. However, this is not being acknowledged by the management. We are finding it difficult to get odd jobs and support ourselves,” one of the suspended employees, V Udhayakumar, said.

The police department made it clear that there isn’t a case against the workers in a letter to the port management. The Ponneri sub-collector also investigated the issue after receiving a complaint from the workers. The officer then suggested that the port management bring the personnel who had been found not guilty back on board.

Kattupalli Kuppam resident Kannan said that the port administration had not answered their plea favorably. He said, “Even two years after the acquittal, our plight has not been addressed, so we were forced to boycott this election.”

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