CLASHES flared between police and villagers in Malkiya yesterday after a peaceful protest turned violent. Around 1,500 residents and people from nearby areas had gathered at the beach to protest against fishing nets installed in the sea more than a year ago, which they say has sealed off a large section of the area.
MPs and human rights activists were among those present and the meeting continued peacefully for two hours until a small group of youths attempted to remove some of the nets from the sea around 6pm.
Police, stationed inside the land of the private landowner involved, immediately responded by firing teargas into the crowd. Youths retaliated by hurling stones at the officers and burning tyres.
Villagerss had applied for and were given permission to hold the rally.
Resident leader Ali Mansoor told the GDN that around 150 families and many fishermen from nearby villages were affected by not having full access to the beach.
The violence happened exactly a week after youngsters clashed with police for more than two hours when security forces tried to break up an unofficial demonstration.