Environmental activist and remand prisoner S Mugilan began an indefinite fast at the Palayamkottai Central Prison, on Monday, demanding withdrawal of all pending cases against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant (KKNPP) protesters and those booked for opposing or condemning the state and central governments on various issues.

The activist began the protest on Monday to garner the attention of political parties to raise the issue during the ongoing assembly session, so that the government will stop oppressing the rights of people fighting for their basic rights. He was arrested by Tirunelveli district police on September 18, 2017, for failing to appear before a court despite being served repeated summons to appear before it over the Kudankulam protest related cases.

Last week, the activist informed his supporters about going on a fast. He condemned the government for using the law to curb genuine protests by the people and demanded the withdrawal of all cases against thousands of protesters who fought for jallikattu, from January 8 last year.

“For more than 100 days he refused to come out on bail demanding withdrawal of all the 132 pending cases against more than one lakh Kudankulam protesters. When Jammu and Kashmir government is withdrawing cases against those protesting the killing of Burhan Wani (commander of a militant group Hizbul Mujahideen in July 2016) Mugilan is questioning why cases against protesters in Tamil Nadu have not been withdrawn,” said V Gunaseelan, coordinator of Thozhar Mugilan Viduthalaikaana Kootiyakkam.

Gunaseelan said that Mugilan has pressed for the withdrawal of cases registered against thousands of people over hydrocarbon project, methane extraction, GAIL gas pipeline and latest in the list against the thousands of public of Kanyakumari who staged protests demanding timely action from the government to search and rescue stranded fishermen.

Members of the joint action committee have made representations over the issues to the working president of DMK, M K Stalin and to expelled AIADMK deputy general secretary T T V Dinakaran to raise the issues in the assembly. They have planned to meet the leaders of other political parties and ask them to raise it in the assembly.

Superintendent of the prison, G B Senthamaraikkannan told TOI that according to prison rules a person has gone on fast only if he goes without food for 24 hours. “We are monitoring his health,” he added. This is the third time Mugilan has gone on fast in the prison.

 

Courtesy: Times of India