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       CITYNEWS Next Article: Will continue search till last fisherman is found, says govt  
       Fishers continue protest
         Posted on :09:35:25 Dec 4, 2017
       Last edited on:09:35:25 Dec 4, 2017
         Tags: fishers, protest

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The alleged delay of the state government in responding to the Ockhi cyclone threat and initiating rescue operations sparked off protests of the fisher folk too.

Fishers and their families in the affected areas across the State raised a banner of protest against the alleged tardy response to the disaster and also in conceding to their demand to include them in the Coast Guard teams that ventured into the sea in search of the missing boats.

This was despite the government bid to convince them that the best efforts had been made to expedite the rescue operations and save those who were caught in the sea.

The protests were largely initiated at the behest of the church and was aimed at bringing into sharp focus the alleged failure of the State’s disaster management mechanism to alert the fishermen and take precautionary steps.

The heads of local churches in the coastal area in the capital as well as other affected areas vociferously insisted that the fishermen should also be made part of the Coast Guard search teams and in the face of protests, accepted the demand.

The state also witnessed a political blame game in the wake of the havoc wreaked by the cyclone.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State president Kummanam Rajasekharan said here on Sunday that the Central agencies had dutifully alerted the state.

The MeT Centre as well as the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services had alerted the State on November 28 and 29.

On seeking a clarification in this regard, INCOIS director Sathish Shenoy had furnished documents to prove that the alert was issued in time.

It had on November 28 itself warned of very heavy winds between 8.30 a.m. and 11.30 p.m. on the Kerala coast between Vizhinjam and Kasaragod on November 30 and said that the sea would be rough.

The central agencies had issued a joint bulletin on November 29.

This was passed on to the state government.

The state government argument that the warning was issued only on November 30 was baseless, he said in a statement here.

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