Anti-nuke protests gather steam in Koodankulam

The mood around coastal villages in and around Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) has started becoming tense after police detained a few anti-nuclear protestors, including a parish priest.

The decision by the people of Koodankulam and Idinthakarai coastal villages to oppose the KKNPP came as a blow to the power plant authorities, who are gearing up for commissioning by this year-end. It may be noted that people in coastal villages near KKNPP have started opposing the project and village committees have been set up to sensitise the people against the project.

“People are no more lured by job opportunities as the fear for their lives has united everyone, cutting across boundaries,” said S Sivasubramanian, an advocate, who is also an executive committee member of the anti-nuclear protest.

According to him, previously only fishermen were opposing the project but now, even people from other sections have extended their support. On Friday, the police detained Fr Pradeesh along with other village committee members under illegal detention after they embarked on their vehicles to gather support from people of all coastal villages.

It may be noted that Fr Pradeesh is an Assistant Parish Priest in Indinthakarai, a coastal village near Koodankulam.
“As the news spread, the church bell was rung and all the people gathered and protested against the police action and the situation is still tense,” according to a local.
It is also learnt that the police were in a dilemma whether to arrest the group or leave them for trying to gather support against KKNPP, while Tirunelveli SP Vijayendra S Bidari is known to have rushed to the spot to pacify the villagers.

On Friday, fishermen in coastal villages boycotted fishing activities and students too boycotted classes. “For the first time, people from all sections have united in their stand against KKNPP and the struggle to oust the project has almost begun,” M Pushparayan, an anti-nuclear activist said.
“People have decided to go on a hunger strike and to hoist black flags on August 14 and all coastal villages near KKNPP will pass a resolution during Gram Sabha meeting on August 15 to scrap the project,” he said.

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