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Marina fishers allege harassment by police

The State government had assured that homes will be allocated for people who had been affected by the 2004 Tsunami in Nochikuppam.

Marina fishers allege harassment by police
Representative image

CHENNAI: The fishermen, who recently held protests along the Marina Loop Road, allege police harassment and punitive action from authorities.

“The houses promised by the Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board (TNUHDB) near Pattinapakkam are delayed. Adding to the mental trauma, our relatives arrested for protesting, are now denied bail. We are constantly harassed by the police,” said fishermen in Nochikuppam and Loop Road.

The State government had assured that homes will be allocated for people who had been affected by the 2004 Tsunami in Nochikuppam.

“Recently, the officials from the TNUHDB held a meeting with the residents of Doomingkuppam and Selvarajkuppam. Residents of Nochikuppam protested for four days demanding homes. So, cases have been registered against four fishermen — Rupeesh, Bharathi, Kosumani, and Vaiko Ravi,” said Ethiraj, a resident and fisherman in Nochikuppam.

“The police informed the court that TNUHDB was issuing tokens for the residents for housing allotment. If these 4 fishermen are released, they’ll protest again, which will impact the people in the area adding chaos to the project,” he added.

Fishermen of Nochikuppam pointed out that the State government had not provided any documents regarding the house allotment in the area, which was the main reason for the delay. They urged the government to provide adequate documents and ensure that the fishermen receive proper housing allotment.

“The department plans to give only 200 houses but the demand is 5 times higher. This is another worry for us. We demanded housing near Marina Beach, but TNUHDB wanted to move us to Semmenchery,” averred a local fisherman.

Earlier, the TNUHDB had mentioned that the fisherfolk would get housing allotment in Semmencheri, but the residents were against it as their livelihood was associated with the coast.

“Later, the government agreed to construct houses in Pattinampakkam for the residents of Nochikuppam who lost their houses in the Tsunami,” said Kabbadi Maran, another fisherman.

When contacted, a government official said that there were vested interests among the fishermen creating law and order problems.

“These are decisions by the State,” said the official requesting anonymity.

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