Kudankulam protesters stand in sea waters

Published 14 September 2012  |  
Showing no signs of stopping, anti-nuclear protesters on Friday formed a human chain and stood in sea water to protest against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu.

The 'Jal Satyagraha', led by the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), has further intensified tensions between the protesters and police in Idinthakarai village in the close vicinity of the nuclear plant.

Women and children were seen braving the waves and shouting slogans against the Union government. Safety ropes have been reportedly tied to prevent them from being washed away.

Two days ago, the protesters had ended their 48-hour relay fast to protest police use of teargas shells and batons to disperse crowds.

To stop the commissioning of the controversial project, a Special Leave Petition (SLP) was filed earlier this week through counsel Prashant Bhushan and Pranav Sachdeva.

On Thursday, however the Supreme Court refused to stay the loading of fuel in one of the two reactors of the power plant. A Bench, led by Justice K S Radhakrishanan, turned down the request by petitioner's counsel Prashant Bhushan.

Speaking to reporters, Bhushan said that the court had refused to stay the fuel loading before the next hearing which will take place on September 20.

In his petition, Bhushan told the court that out of 17 safety steps recommended by the expert committee only six have been put in place. He pointed that to implement the remaining 11, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) will require six months to two years.

The ongoing protest meanwhile has claimed one more life today. Forty-two-year old fisherman Sagayam collapsed in the water after he become unconscious on Thursday, news reports said.

Earlier this week, clashes between protesters and the police led to a fishermen being killed in police firing.

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