February 03, 2012

On their way to attend talks with the Central Government Expert Panel, a group of activists agitating against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project in Tamil Nadu were attacked by a violent group. The miscreants are believed to be supporters of the local Hindu Munnani group. 20 women accompanying M. Pushparayan and Jesuraj, the representatives of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) in the dialogue with the Central Government’s expert committee were beaten badly and are hospitalized.

We condemn this heinous act in strongest terms and demand that the violent miscreants should be brought to book.

It is extremely unfortunate that the establishment is seen indulging in intimidating and violent tactics against people who are struggling to safeguard their lives and livelihoods. The talk between the Central Government and the protesters is at the fourth round. While the Central Government has declined to adequately answer the questions raised by PMANE and even to share the documents requested by it, it has resorted to religious profiling, intimidation, and now open mob-violence against the protesters. The movement in Koodankulam has been entirely nonviolent and has maturely denied any pretext to the Central Government for repression. The recent incident is being seen as incitement for violence. a section of the media supporting the Central Govt’s stand on the nuclear power plant has recently indulged in similar incitement by publishing mobile number and contact details of leading activists, along with a malicious article with baseless hate-mongering against them.

We demand that this direct and indirect arm-twisting should be immediately stopped. People are agitating against nuclear power projects in several other parts of the country and accusing them of being foreign-funded and religion-backed is simply malicious and defamatory. We reiterate our demand that the Central Government should go for an open and broad-based national consultation on nuclear energy before going for such a massive expansion.

For CNDP
Achin Vanaik
Admiral L Ramdas
Anil Chaudhary
Amarjeet Kaur
Praful Bidwai
N D Jayaprakash
Sukla Sen