Kudankulam still on the edge

Published 17 September 2012  |  
Villagers have now buried themselves neck-deep in sand along the shore, demanding the suspension of fuel loading at the at the first 1000 MWe unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP).

Reports said thousands of villagers, including women and children, were seen buried in sand, holding placards along the beach.

Earlier this week, the villagers in a different form of protest, stood in neck- deep water, taking cue from Khandwa 'jal satyagrah' that drew attention to displacement caused by Omkareshwar Dam in Madhya Pradesh.

To show solidarity and support with the villagers and activists, several marches and events are being organised in neighbouring regions. Some of them are turning violent with arrests and injuries.

On Sunday, around 250 people were arrested in Tuticorin after being stopped when they attempted to set out on a march to Idinthakarai. The protesters were later let off.

Actor-Director Seeman, heading the 'Naam Tamizhar Iyakkam', Periyar Dravida Kazhagam leader Kolathur Mani and workers of Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam were among those arrested, police said.

A 'solidarity march' by cultural leaders from Kerala to Kudankulam was also stopped on the state's border with Tamil Nadu, according to a PTI report.

Naam Tamizhar Iyakkam leader Seeman extended his solidarity to the protesters and addressed a gathering at St Lourdes Matha Church in Idinthakarai on Saturday evening.

He condemned the aerial surveillance of coast guards in Idinthakarai that led to the death of 38 year old Sahayam. He stated that the fishermen had the right to question chief minister Jayalalithaa, as without them she wouldn't have won the elections.

Naam Tamizhar Party condoled the death of Sahayam of Idinthakarai and Anthony John of Manapadu. The party's leader later visited Sahayam's family before proceeding towards to Kudankulam.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu police are still searching for SP Udayakumar, the convenor of Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE). A group of protesters have reportedly taken Udaykumar to an undisclosed location.

Udayakumar told reporters over phone from an undisclosed place that he was open for unconditional talks with the central and state governments.

More than 4,000 police personnel continue to maintain a strict vigil in and around Kudankulam. Not only has the Rapid Action Force been deployed in the coastal town, the Coast Guard is also closely watching the movement of boats in the waters off Idinthakarai.

Reprints

More News in Society