Kudankulam protesters launch ‘jal satyagraha’
Hundreds of people from Tamil Nadu's Idinthakarai village, the epicentre of the protests against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP), walked into the sea Thursday to give expression to their anger at moves to load uranium fuel in one of the two reactors.
Buffeted by the waves, the villagers say they will carry out their 'jal satyagraha', peaceful water protest, till 6 p.m.
Kudankulam protesters in waist-deep sea water as an Indian Coast Guard aircraft flies past (Photo: Amirtharaj Stephen)
"We will stay in the sea, we will protest against the loading of uranium fuel in one of the reactors. No one can stop us from protesting," said Immaculate, one among the many agitators standing in waist-deep sea water.
Forming a human chain in the sea, the villagers from around the Kudankulam nuclear plant followed a similar 'jal satyagraha' in Madhya Pradesh against the Omkareshwar Dam on the Narmada.
On Wednesday, protestors ended their 48-hour relay fast in Idinthakarai village in Tirunelveli district to protest police use of teargas shells and batons to disperse crowds and the constabulary conducting house-to-house searches.
The over one year-long protests against the Kudankulam nuclear power project turned violent Monday, leaving one agitator dead in police firing in Tuticorin district and several injured in a police baton charge.
India's atomic power plant operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) is building two 1,000 MW reactors with Russian help at Kudankulam since 2001.
Villagers under the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) banner have opposed the project for the past one year, fearing for their safety, especially since the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in Japan March 2011.
Three days ago, Madhya Pradesh government agreed to give land as compensation and reduce the height of Omkareshwar Dam, as the protestors in Khandwa district stood in neck-deep water from Aug 25 to block the dam work. - IANS