Battleground Koodankulam

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On March 31, 2012

Prashan Bhushan visits Idinthakarai

On March 30, 2012
S P Udayakumar received a letter from the Passport Officer in Madurai that he has to return my Passport as he has criminal cases against him.
March 29, 2012 at 10 AM
A team of Home Ministry officials from New Delhi descended on S P Udayakumar’s  home at Nagercoil and inspected SACCER Trust’s account for 12 hours both at home and again at the Government Guest House in Nagercoil.
March 28, 2012 11:30 AM
Vanni Arasu has obtained bail. No fresh developments on the other 178 detained. relay hunger-strike in Idinthakarai on.
March 27, 2012, 10:30 PM
The indefinite hunger-strike in Idinthakarai, Koodankulam has come to an end this evening after 9 days, following negotiations with the local administration regarding lifting of police charges laid against the peaceful protesters, revocation of Section 144 and restoration of normalcy and essential supplies.The peaceful protest in Koodankulam would continue as the demands pertaining to safety regulatory procedures, environmental and social impacts, and independent review of the project can be pursued only at the level of the State and Central Governments.The convener of the anti-KKNPP struggle committee S.P. Udayakumar said until the detained protesters were released from prisons, they would neither give up their relay fast nor leave the protest venue. “The entire world is watching our nonviolent protest, which will continue,” said Dr. Udayakumar before accepting the juice offered by Rt. Rev. Peter Fernando to mark the end of the indefinite fast.
March 27, 2012, 12:30 PM
The Collector agrees to meet seven protestors though he had objected to one of them earlier.Dr R C Ramalingam of the Tisayanvalai Primary Health centre said he had advised officials that they needed immediate hospitalisation but the agitators were not cooperating. The medical team had submitted its report to the district collector and it was for the officials to take a decision, Ramalingam said.
March 26, 2012, 06:00 PM
Satish Kumar and Vanni Arasu are together at Tiruchi Jail, along with Mugilan and the 178 others that were picked up on 19th after their road-side protest in Koottapuly. All are well. Today, the lawyers moved bail applications for Satish and Vanni Arasu. The magistrate failed to show up in court. However, the applications were accepted, and we have been asked to keep 6 sureties each ready on Wednesday to secure their bail. Mugilan too is keeping well. I will know more about his bail application later on in the day. I will keep you posted about it. In the meantime, Sun TV continues to carry a malicious campaign against Mugilan, Satish and Vanni arasu painting them as terrorists. People are welcome to call or SMS Raja of Sun TV and express their disgust. His number: 9840035050Satish was hurt when he was picked up. Once inside the van, he was blindfolded, and his hands roughly yanked behind his back and tied. Throughout his drive, he was being told by the police that he was going to be bumped off. His lawyers have filed an application for medical examination.
(- Nityanand Jayaraman)
March 26, 2012 1:00 Pm
8th Day of fasting. People are coming in big numbers in Idinthakarai. Hearing on lifting Section 144 in Madras High court today. A delegation team lead by Arch Bishop will meet Jayalalitha today. A Women Satyagrahi (Mrs. Melret) taken to Hospital.
March 25, 2012 6:00 Pm
7th day of hunger-strike. No initiative from government for any dialogue. Health condition of activists deteriorates but morale remains high. PMANE writes a letter to IAEA/AERB and human rights organisations. Protests underway all over India.
March 24, 2012, 01:30 AM
6th day of hunger-strike in Idinthakarai, health of some protesters is deteriorating.
10 activists, arrested on March 19th continue to languish in Kaddalur jail.
Following nationwide protest yesterday to support Koodankulam struggle, the Tamil Nadu ADGP has assured of normal situation at Koodankulam.
March 23, 2012 01:30 AM
Koodankulam Update: 3000 activists arrested in Tirunelveli on their way to Koodankulam, including Vaiko and other Tamil leaders. Arrested activists are kept in Mahalim Kallyana Mandalam, a marriage hall.
March 23, 2012 10:30 AM
5th day of hunger strike, health condition of 15 fasting people is on decline.Some supplies in Idinthakarai have resumed, mainly through sea route.
Smaller opposition parties in Tamil Nadu have organised a collectivemeeting today at Tirunelveli, some of their leaders are expected to go to Idinthakarai. People pouring in at Trinelveli.
Various protests are being organised today all over India in support of the agitating people in Koodankulam, demanding immediate restoration of essential supplies, revocation of Section 144 in the area and resumption of dialogue between the protesters and the government.
March 22, 2012 12:30 AM
Madras High Court orders Tamilnadu Police to ensure uninterrupted access to basic amenities like electricity, food, milk and water for villagers protesting against Koodankulam nuclear power plant. The Tamilnadu police had imposed an illegal embargo on water, food, milk and fuel by blocking roads to put pressure on protestors to give up their hunger strike. 15 villagers, including Pushparayan and Udayakumar, are on their 4th day of their hunger strike. Villagers had relied on supplies brought in through the sea on boats for the last 4 days.The Judges, Chief Justice EQ Iqbal and T.S Sivagnanam have reserved orders on other prayers, including lifting of Section 144 — a prohibitory order against the gathering of more than 4 people — for MondayMarch 22, 2012 11:00 AM
Stalemate in Idinthakarai continues. All essential supplies are disrupted and media entry denied. The Police insisting on ‘surrender’ of S P Udayakumar and other leaders, which the village people have denied.India rising up in protest. Marches/strikes/fasts being planned all over the country. Eminent personalities and intellectuals have come out to support people in their struggle.

A petition filed in Madras High Court to resume essential supplies and let the children write their exams.

March 21, 2012 10:00 AM

Punnikayal, the largest coastal hamlet in Thootikudi district announced boycott of fishing in support of the Koodankulam struggle. Police intimidating them to end boycott, threatening with cut down of public transport.

From Punnikayal to Kootapulli of Nellai, a large area is under siege.

March 21, 2012 10:00 AM
Electricity, Water and Food Supply stopped in Idinthakarai

All roads and sea routes to reach Idinthakarai are blocked. Police personnel forcibly took away mobiles phones and water supply equipments.

School run by Dr. S P Udayakumar damaged badly last night. School bus is also damaged.

There are 8000 children among the 20,000 protesting people in Idinthakarai. Milk supply to the village is also prevented and its affecting the children badly.

Media entry to Idinthakarai is also prevented.

March 20, 2012, 5: 20 PM

From Koodankulam: Police and para-military forces is terrrorising people by marching into the village every two hours and then withdrawing. We are threatened, something must be done to stop this harrassment.

Please contact human rights organisations, judges, ministers and media IMMEDIATELY !!

March 20, 2012, 12: 40 PM

Koodankulam reactors started; 60 police vans in place;

Human Right Activist Dr. Binayak Sen will inaugurate the Anti Nuclear Protest today 5.30PM at Kerala Sahithya Akadami, Thrissur. Please do join with us for the protest against koodamkulam nuclear power plant today 5.30PM at Kerala Sahithya Akadami premises. We are planning to conduct a rally and a public event at Thekke Gopuranada, Thrissur after the Rally. Please do join with us with your friends and colleagues.

March 20, 2012
10:30 AM
From Koodankulam: Police spreading rumours that their buses are damaged by villagers and we are pelting stones at them. Please condemn this. They are provoking us and justifying their plans to use force.

Police tried to enter Idinthakarai this morning forcefully, but they went back seeing thousands of people. We expect they will strike back again.

Koodankulam Update
March 20, 2012
7:30 AM
Police have arrested 18 more men at Koodankulam last night but nothing happened here at Idinthakarai at night. Some 5,000 women, men and children slept around St. Lourdes Church. Some 185 men and women and their Parish Priest Fr. Suseelan were arrested at Koottapuli village when they sat down by the side of the road protesting against the police peacefully. They are being held at Tirunelveli armed reserve camp. The other group of 9 people including our Struggle Committee members Adv. Sivasubramanian and Rajalingom, arrested yesterday and now charged with sedition including Sections 121, 121A and 153A, has been taken to Tirunelveli also and we do not know where they are being held. In the meantime, Muhilan, another leading activist of PMANE was arrested on his way to Idinthakarai and he is kept at the police headquarters in Tirunelveli.

Police have clamped down Section 144 in our area prohibiting people from congregating in any manner. So no one can walk or move around. Despite this curfew, people keep coming to Idinthakarai by boats and on foot.
There is an unprecedented deployment of police around Koodankulam and it is highly condemnable that the police are harassing the peaceful protesters to this extent. Some 15 of us (8 men and 7 women) including Pushparayan and myself are on indefinite hunger strike here at Idinthakarai demanding:

[1] the immediate release of our comrades,
[2] the withdrawal of the Tamil Nadu cabinet resolution,
[3] a thorough and complete probe of geologists, hydrologists and oceanographers into the safety issues of the Koodankulam nuclear power plant,
[4] release of the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) signed secretly by the governments of India and Russia on liability in February 2008, and
[5] conduct safety drills and evacuation drills in the 30-km radius of the Koodankulam project.

There could be public health problems and food shortage in a few days here at Idinthakarai. We appeal to the people of Tamil Nadu to be aware of this assault on the Tamil community. We appeal to the people of India to be mindful of impending nuclear nightmares in our highly and densely populated country such as ours. We appeal to the people of the world to keep a watchful eye on the forceful implementation of a mega-nuclear project on our people without giving us any basic information about the project or conducting any public hearing. They are preparing to load uranium fuel rods into the reactor without conducting any safety or evacuation drills. This kind of Fascist development is taking our country to another round of New East India Companies and Neo-colonialism. God Save India!

Please do everything you possibly can to condemn this police harassment and nuclear madness and to express your solidarity.

Struggle Committee
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy

Koodankulam: PMANE Announces Indefinite Hunger Strike starting May 1, 2012

The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) plans to resume indefinite hunger strike from May 1, 2012, International Workers’ Day.

Read more here>>

Koodankulam: Idinthakarai turned into an open-air jail, govt playing divide-and-rule

April 10, 2012

SP Udayakumar, Coordinator, People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy

Greetings! The daily relay fast has been happening here without interruption. Eleven of our comrades from Koodankulam have just been released on bail and each person has been asked to post 8 individual sureties holding properties worth more than Rs. 10,000. There are 30 more people in the Trichy prison, and 2 other friends, Muhilan and Satish facing the most serious charges. It is really strange that we are being treated like terrorists even by the courts.

Read more here>>

Police Harassment Continues in Koodankulam: Questions Remain Unanswered

April 4, 2012

On April 3 morning a police constable by the name Mr. Murugesan from Avaraikulam village beat up one Mr. Pathira Pandi from Koodankulam claiming the latter had asked the local shopkeepers to close their shops in support of our protest. Mr. Pandi suffered severe injuries on his face and chest. Since it is futile to complain to the local police about a local policeman, his family preferred not to file any complaint. They were also afraid of more police harassment including false cases.

We hear that the local police at Koodankulam are filing FIRs on every shopkeeper who does not open his shop. This is quite a new record on the Indian State’s upholding of our civil rights.

Read more here>>

The Government is Cheating Koodankulam People, Harassing Our Families: S P Udayakumar

April 2, 2012

On March 27, 2012 evening 7:30 PM, we gave up our indefinite hunger strike of 9 days after a credible team of mediators had a round of talks with the Tamil Nadu government officials at Radhapuram near here. They had accepted to release all our comrades from prison and withdraw all the false and serious cases against us.

On March 29, 2012 at 9 AM, a team of Home Ministry officials from New Delhi descended on my family’s home at Nagercoil and inspected our SACCER Trust’s account for 12 hours both at home and again at the Government Guest House in Nagercoil. Our small Trust with hardly any money runs a very small school of 217 children.[It is interesting to note that the central government’s and state government’s teams inspected the Koodankulam nuclear power plant for hardly a few hours, and not 12 hours at a stretch.]

On March 30, 2012, I received a letter from the Passport Officer in Madurai that I have to return my Passport as I have criminal cases against me. [I wonder if all the politicians, bureaucrats, scientists, military leaders and businessmen with criminal record have received such a request and I am approaching the court to verify this.]

Read more here>>

Poovulagin Nanbargal: Complaint Filed against the commissioning of the Koodankulam NPP in IAEA, AERB and Other Organisations 

Download copies of complaints filed in AERB and IAEA

Poovulagin Nanbargal Files complaint against the commissioning of the KKNPP in IAEA, AERB and various other organisations without following Mandatory Guidelines.

NPCIL is working on overtime to prepare the Nuclear Power plant at Koodankulam (Unit 1) to become operational in the shortest possible time frame. The unit 1&2 is constructed without conducting the Public Hearing and also based on the Public hearing the preparation of EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment). All the mandatory norms prescribed by AERB and IAEA has been flouted at will and NPCIL is going ahead with the commissioning. No Volcano Hazard study, Tsunami Hazard study and Karst Study has not been done as the plant site is prone to all these Natural Hazards.
Read More here>>

Koodankulam UPDATE 28/3 Action Alert: Call TN Govt; Make Peace Not War
Vanni Arasu has obtained bail. No fresh developments on the other 178 detained.
Read more here>>

Melret being taken to hospital.

March 27, 2012:

Please Stand Up in Support! Govt’s Crackdown in Koodankulam is a Pointer, All Peaceful Protest Would Meet This Fate : S P Udayakumar

Please save us from the cruel grip of the Indian State. We thank all our brothers and sisters who are already doing this all over the country. We need more people and more actions.

Read more here>>

9th Day of Hunger Strike in Koodankulam: An urgent Appeal

Please call/fax/email Tamil Nadu’s Chief Secretary Thiru Debendranath Sarangi and the  Collector office of District Collector of Tirunelveli Dr R. Selvaraj

Read more here>>

Idinthakarai, March 27: Demands Put Up at Talks with District Collector Today

Save lives, save democracy: S P Udayakumar

Idinthakarai, Koodankulam
March 25, 2012

The governments here are taking up a new weapon now and that is our alleged links with Naxalites (Maoists). They are fabricating evidences and concocting conversations to establish that we have connections with Naxal youth and trying to portray us as a violent group. The whole world knows that we have been struggling for the past eight months in a nonviolent manner with absolutely no violence or terror.

Read more here>>

Koodankulam: Protests all over India, activists being arrested in Tamil Nadu

With no signs of the dampening of people’s morale in Idithakarai, the situation in Koodankulam is getting crucial. And the government has pitched up its intimidation in response.

Read more here>>

DAE Stitch-Ups on Switching off Nuclear Reactors

While the Tamil media is abuzz with how the the ‘start-up’ of Koodankulam has actually eased the power shortage in Tamil Nadu, the reactor has definitely not been commissioned and started commercial operation. Only the ‘construction’ work has resumed.

They need AERB clearance before the start-up. After the delay in last 3-4 months, they  require a thorough check-up and drill. Croatian experts have been invited to recheck equipments. For actual commercial operation, it would take several month.

So this entire urgency of helping Tamil Nadu’s power supply in the summers THIS YEAR was nothing more than a PR exercise!

Read More here>>

Idinthakarai Update March 22, 2012 (S P Udayakumar)

What is Illegal at Koodankulam: Protests or the Reactor?


The non-violent movement against the nuclear power plant at Koodankulam has actually highlighted the brazen contempt for legal and democratic procedures by the nuclear establishment.

Read the full post>>

The situation here is still grim. There are some 10,000 people from coastal and interior villages. Most of them are women including pregnant women and nursing women. I myself saw many nursing women feeding their babies sweetened water as there was no milk coming to the village. More people are coming by boats and on foot as the access roads are all blocked by police. There is no bus service to this place. There is no sanitary complex and women bear the brunt of it. No public health official has ever come to help the people.

Some 15 of us have been on indefinite hunger strike and no medical doctor has ever come here to check our health. The Dinamalam newspaper has reported today that we have all been eating heartily and pretending to be fasting. If this anti-Tamil newspaper can prove that there is a trace of food in my or Pushparayan’s stomach, we are ready to leave this protest. Otherwise, will they stop publishing this stupid paper? We are fighting for a cause not prostituting our soul like the Dinamalam does.

Read More here>>

 

 

 


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India Rising Up In Protest

Countrywide Day Long Hunger Protest on March 23
Pune: Opposite Collector’s Office, Near Sasoon Hospital, Pune (Rishikesh – 9423507864)
Delhi: Jantar Mantar (Madhuresh – 9818905316)
Allahabad: (Prof. Banwarilal Sharma – 5322466798)
Kolkata: (Santanu Chakravarty – 9831034089)
Mumbai/Konkan: (Vaishali Patil – 9422696976)
Chennai: (Nityanand Jayaraman – 9444082401)

New Delhi:
Protest at TAMIL NADU BHAWAN, CHANAKYAPURI
22 MARCH 2012, 12.30 PM
JNU STUDENTS’ UNION (JNUSU)
Sucheta De, JNUSU President, 9868383692
Abhishek Yadav, JNUSU VP,9968003363

Please call/fax/email the  Collector office of District Collector of Tirunelveli Dr R. Selvaraj at the following coordinates:Phone: 0462-2500828 (O)
0462-2577655, 2577983 (R)
Fax: 0462-2500244E-Mail: [email protected]Please also call Tamil Nadu’s Chief Secretary Thiru Debendranath Sarangi at the following address: Chief Secretary to Govt
Secretariat, Chennai – 600 009
Phone : 25671555 (O)
Fax : 25672304
E-Mail : [email protected] Sheela Priya, IAS, Addl Chief Secy to CM. 044 25675163. Fax: 25675163. Email: [email protected]

Draft Appeal

 

We request the readers of DiaNuke.org to email/fax this letter to the human rights organisations, influential individuals and the media.

Human Rights Abuses underway in Koodankulam, South India

 The State Cabinet of the southern-most state of Tamil Nadu in India gave clearance for the commissioning of the first unit of the Koodankulam nuclear power plant on March 19th, 2012.  The start-up of the reactors was held back by strong peaceful resistance at the grassroots for last 8 months.

Soon after the state government’s announcements, 6,000 armed policemen have surrounded the villages in the vicinity of Koodankulam reactor while 20,000 people have still managed to reach at the gates of the nuclear power station. Tamil Nadu’s Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), 3 DIGs (Deputy Inspector Generals) and 10 SPs (Superintendents of Police) are present at Koodankulam presiding over this naked repression of people’s democratic dissent.

  • 16 people including 7 women on an indefinite hunger strike.
  • Police and para-military forces is terrrorising people by marching into the village every two hours and then withdrawing. They are threatened.
  • The Idinthakarai village that is just 2-kilometers from the reactor, is at the forefront of the protests. 
  • Idinthakarai has a total population of around 12,000, but more have congregated to make it 20,000, more than half of which are young children.  The police have blockaded the villages and cut off the water supplies today to this and other surrounding villages. It can turn out to be a state-sponsored carnage of its own civilians opposing nuclear energy who are forced to live next door to it.
  • The closest home to the reactors is only 500 meters. These homes were constructed in 2006 for tsunami affected villagers, four years after the reactors were commissioned. Added to which are approximately 3 million people living in the 30 kilometers zone around the plant defying international stipulations and making the nuclear development technically illegal.
  • A senior minister in the Union Government earlier this week had said that the anti-nuclear protestors should be dealt with an “iron fist”.  
  • Mainstream media are providing misinformation such as the anti-nuclear movement has fizzled out when in fact it has not. (see Daily News Analysis, 19th March 2012).
  • Blockades are placed all round the nuclear power plant and villages making it impossible for independent observers or media to see the arrests or any other untowards action to its citizens
  • Women and children are involved in the agitation to the nuclear power station gates. In a previous confrontation at the gates in September 2011, women were harassed and charged with batons by police.

 

Please could you highlight this emergency and the draconian state measures against the quest for the right to a healthy life in a so-called democratic society.

Background to the nuclear project and the protests:

The protest against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant started as soon as the project was commenced in 2002.  The agreement for the reactors was inked in 1988 by the then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Michael Gorbachev, the President of USSR.  More than 15,000 people gathered to protest in the neighbouring town of Kanyakumari in 1989 when the police opened fire indiscriminately, injuring several people.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the project itself went in a limbo, to be resumed after a decade in 1998. The people around the area have been protesting against the project ever since: court cases, petitions, letters to political leaders and policy makers and demonstrations

The nuclear accident in Fukushima in March 2011 and the ensuing downturn in public opinion about nuclear energy unleashed a new life to the Koodankulam protests. In August 2011, the people of Idinthakarai and other surrounding villages started agitations afresh: 125 people sat on hunger strike for 12 days while tens of thousands gathered in their support.

For the past 8 months after August 2011, people in Koodankulam have been protesting peacefully and non-violently for the right to a healthy life, consultation and transparency in government conduct.

The Government’s attempts for dialogues: half-hearted, contemptuous and undemocratic

While the Indian Prime Minister claimed on-board his trip to Russia in December last year that the protests in  Koodankulam are “overdone” and the government went ” out of its way” to convince people about the safety of Koodankulam reactors, the activists have an entirely different story. After a 12-day hunger strike by more than 125 people in Idinthakarai in August 2011, when the Central Government agreed to respect Tamil Nadu State Cabinet’s resolution to stop the construction and start dialogue with people, the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) requested an open and democratic discussion between the 15-member Expert Committee appointed by the Indian Government and the 24-member independent Expert Panel organised by the movement. When the governmentt refused it, the PMANE asked for some 50 essential documents pertaining to the safety, environmental impacts, emergency preparations and costs of the reactor to enable the agitating people to have an informed debate. The Central government declined to share these documents and has declared the hastily drafted report of its own Expert Committee as the final word. Obviously, people remain unconvinced.

Throughout the process of this dialogue between the PMANE and the Central Government’s Expert Committee, the authorities kept building up cases against the activists, including charges of sedition and “war against the Indian state”. The government’s supportive media indulged in worst kinds of malicious reporting about the Koodankulam activists, questioning their religious backgrounds and practically inciting violence against them by publicizing their mobile numbers and contact details in the Tamil language Dinamalar newspaper in November 2011. When the leading activists of Koodankulam Satyagraha complained about receiving obscene and threatening calls, the newspaper backtracked. Meanwhile, the workers of the Congress party, ruling at the Centre, repeatedly indulged in violence against activists and even attacked women and children. The struggling people stuck to their non-violent principles and did not provide any pretext to the government for crackdown.