Thiruvananthapuram: A day after Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan faced the wrath of angry fishermen during his visit to Cyclone Ockhi-hit coastal village Vizhinjam, state ministers Kadakampally Surendran and J Mercykutty faced a similar situation at Poonthura where irate people shouted slogans against them and the government. The state ministers had accompanied Union defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman on her visit to the village on Monday.
Ockhi had left a trail of destruction in Poonthura and several fishermen are still missing from the region. Days after the cyclone wreaked havoc along the southern coastline, the government has little information about the missing fishermen from the villages.
As soon as the news spread about their arrival Monday, a group of protesters swarmed a church where the trio was holding a meeting with the vicar. As the ministers stepped out of the church, the crowd shouted slogans against them.
"No minister had turned up here until now," the protesters shouted. The police had a tough time bringing the crowd under control. However, Sitharaman assured the agitating protesters that rescue operations would be continued till all the missing fishermen were found.
"We are collecting information on the missing Keralites from other areas as well. We have given all modern equipment and help for rescue operations,” said the minister.
There were allegations that the government failed to issue proper warning to the fishermen about the cyclone.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had faced protest from a group of fishermen on Sunday when he visited Vizhinjam. As Pinarayi came out of a local church to board his car, a group of men tried to block his way.
Some of them raised slogans against the government's alleged apathy. The cyclone has already claimed around 30 lives Kerala.