Kerala mass moment leader to contest from Kannur

Last Updated 01 May 2019, 12:04 IST

Suresh Keezhatoor, leader of a major mass movement against the construction of an NH by-pass which would fill a paddy field at Kannur district in Kerala, is contesting the election with the agenda of making the environment a point of discussion, especially in the post-2018 flood scenario.

Incidentally, the former CPM local leader, who invited the wrath of the CPM government in Kerala with his mass movement called 'Vayalkilikal' (birds of the field), is contesting the election in CPM's stronghold Kannur.

He doesn't pin any high hopes of defeating the CPM or Congress candidates but want to have discussions on the rampant environmental exploitation.

"Environment exploitation and its impacts on the life of people assumes much significance in Kerala, especially after the 2018 floods. Hence, I wish to make environmental issues a point of discussion in Kerala during the elections. This thought prompted me to contest in the elections as no mainstream party would discuss it," Suresh told DH.

Farmers at Keezhattor near Thalaserry in Kannur district were up in arms against the proposed bypass of NH 66, which required about 20 hectares wetland to be filled.

The stir that began in 2017 gathered momentum through social media campaigns in 2018 and subsequently, many other organisations offered support to them last year.

The local CPM had dismantled the sheds of the agitators and threatened them.

Suresh said that though there were rumours that they had withdrawn the stir against the paddy field filling, it was just the propaganda of the vested interest groups.

"The authorities managed to mark the paddy fields required to be filled and issued a notification while we were in custody. But we are determined to prevent any further attempts to take over the land," he said.

(Published 18 March 2019, 15:44 IST)

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