Anti-nuke activists protest outside Tamil Nadu and Kerala secretariats
2000 anti-nuke protesters detained, were protesting the imminent commissioning of the Koodankulam Nuclear plant
Hundreds of anti-nuke protesters tried to lay a siege outside Tamil Nadu Assembly, on Monday 29 October, demanding closure of Koodankulam the nuclear plant. Police detained MDMK leader Vaiko, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader Thol Thirumavalavan, pro-Tamil leader P Nedumaran along with hundreds of activists and fishermen when they tried to march towards the Secretariat building.
Anti-nuke activists from different parts of Tamil Nadu reached Chennai to mark their protest as the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) is expected to give a green signal for commissioning the Koodankulam Nuclear plant soon. However, many of the activists were detained before they reached Chennai. Anti-nuke protesters who sneaked into Chennai camped in different parts of the city and marched towards the Assembly building in the morning. According to Vaiko, the protest was “a huge success”.
A similar protest was held in Kerala too where around 1, 200 anti-nuke activists staged protested in front of the state Secretariat and urged the Kerala Assembly to pass a resolution against the plant.
Members of the Kerala Fish Workers Federation, CPI(ML), Adivasi Gothra Maha Sabha, Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad, National Alliance of Peoples' Movements, Yukthivadi Sangham and Lohya Vichara Vedi took part in the proest.
N Subramannian, general convener of Kodankulam Solidarity Committee told Tehelka that the nuclear power plant posed a major threat to Kerala as the southern parts of state are just 40 kilometers away from the plant. “Koodankulam Nuclear plant poses threat to Kerala, but our government and political parties are yet to realise its dangers. We are planning to make awareness campaign across the state,” said Subramnnian.
According to SP Udayakumar convener of PMANE the anti-nuke movement is gaining momentum across southern states of India. “More people are joining our movement and realizing that nuke plant is not a blessing but a live threat. We will continue our fight till the plant is closed down,” he said.
The National Power Corporation of India Ltd is planning to commission the project within a month and has completed the loading the fuel middle of last month.
Jeemon Jacob is Bureau Chief, South with Tehelka.