Live Updates from Idinthakarai, Koodankulam

September 17, 2012

The dead body of 42 year old Sahayam Francis, who died of shock when the Indian Coastal Guards flew the plane at a very low altitude, was brought to Idinthakarai after the procession through some of the coastal villages on Monday evening. At 6.20pm, the Sahayam’s body was taken on a procession throughout the village and was kept at St Lourdes Matha Church premises. The entire village gathered at the church for the mass led by Bishop Evan Ambrose Peter, after which his body was buried. Nearly 10 parish priests from different coastal villages were present during the mass.

After the mass, people gathered there took an oath to stop commissioning of Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project.

September 16, 2012

Kerala to Koodankulam Solidarity March stopped by Kerala and Tamil Nadu Police

The march in which around 400+ people participated from all districts in Kerala which neighbours Tamil Nadu was flagged off by Sugatha Kumari the famous poettess from Kerala in the presence of eminent social, religious and cultural figures. The march was led by Subramanian convenor of Koodankulam Anti Nuclear Support Group Kerala which organised the event. The peaceful Padayatra was stopped by the Kerala Police contingent at Inchivila inside Kerala in the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border. Tamil Nadu police officials were also present. The organisers decided to end the march there. But some of the marchers voluntarily decided to proceed to Koodankulam to be with the suffering masses in and around Idinthakarai. The vehicles in which they were travelling was stopped by the Tamil Nadu police in Anju Gramam few kilo meters away from Koodankulam.

12:30 pm – Idindakari continuing it silent protests today, expecting Sahayam body to arrive. News is that post-mortem is underway; body is expected to travel KK district enroute to Idindakarai. Idindakarai is expecting support from all corner of TN to take the protest to next level. Kuthankuzhi called for community meeting today, representation from nearby villages are assembled in Kuthankuzhi to discuss next course of action. There are reports of arrest by police in Tuthukudi and Parasalai, trying to stop their march, now they are trying to reach Idindakarai by vehicles. Hope and pray Indian democracy still have freedom of expression. (via Joseph John Sunder)

TODAY: Two solidarity marches to Idinthakarai – one from Kerala and one from Tuticorin are being organised.

Press Release From PMANE:
September 15, 2012

On the sixth day of the protest against Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant, Naam Tamilar Kachi leader Seeman extending his solidarity to the protesters and addressed the gathering at St Lourdes Matha Church in Idinthakarai on Saturday evening.

He condemned the aerial surveillance of coast guards in Idinthakarai that led to the death of 38 year old Sahayam. He stated that the fishermen had the right to question chief minister Jayalalithaa, as without them she wouldn’t have won the elections.

Naam Tamilar Party condoled the death of Sahayam of Idinthakarai and Anthony John of Manapadu. Later, visited Sahayam’s family before proceeding towards to Koodankulam.

Earlier in the day, villagers held a purification ceremony at St Lourdes Church to cleanse the church where the police had urinated and desecrated the idol of Mother Mary.

They took out a procession around the village, holding a statue of Mother Mary before replacing the desecrated one and cleansed the church with sea water.

On the other hand, people from Kootapuli village protested against the commissioning of the nuclear plant by digging grave near the sea shore, where the graveyard is located, and buried themselves alive.


Indian Coast Guard flew very low to threaten the people who stood in the water for their right to live at Koodankulam. Koodankulam people braved the threat. This photo was published in the NBC News website which indicates Koodankulam movement is getting worldwide attention

Lalita Ramdas

We are a society gone mad !!

Anger, sadness and a sense of inevitabilty – these are the emotions which went across ones mind as I read this account forwarded by Nitty.

What are we doing – where has all sense of humanity and compassion fled – how have we allowed ourselves to turn into such beasts. Apart from anything else it is a loss of intelligence and imagination.

My mails are flooded with accounts of protests, of letters sent and statements signed and released. After two weeks of wasting Taxpayers money our honourable{?} members of Parilament are talking about taking to the streets, while our diabolically clever Govt now decides to `push through Reforms’ – recovering from their `POLICY PARALYSIS’ – and the media is gleeful, the Industry and India Inc is celebrating and our Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Shri Montek Ahluwalia is upbeat about a growth rate touching 8%, since FDI is the best news for rural Youth?Will Rajakumar, Kisan and Karuna sahar – whose names and cases are detailed below, also have something to celebrate Mr Ahluwalia? Or will they still be playing out the sentence for sedition and waging war against the state?Can someone tell us what they did for which they have been arrested and so charged?

We are a society gone mad – and the only war I know of is the one being waged by those who govern our country against the people of this country……

What will it take to bring us back to our senses? You push people to lose their faith in Peace and non-violence – and still our people, for the most part, continue to have faith that something will happen, that one or other of the Ammas will listen, will come and talk to them.

Police violence on peaceful protesters in Koodankulam -Some Details

Nityanand Jayaraman

September 11, 2012


Friends in the media have reported that all top police brass have gathered in Koodankulam to chalk out a strategy to wipe out the movement. According to the media sources, intelligence officials are reporting that two women police are missing and are untraceable. Villagers say that no policepersons have been taken hostage. It is feared that this rumour is being used to fuel public opinion against the protestors and to justify any repressive action by the police against villagers. In this context, to pre-empt any untoward incident, Mr. S.P. Udayakumar has announced that key leaders of the movement will surrender tonight at Koodankulam Police Station in the presence of prominent political leaders.


Responding to the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board’s clearance to commence nuclear fuel loading in the Koodankulam plant, the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy announced that protestors would lay siege to the plant on 9 September. Police force was deployed in huge numbers in the area. On that day, between 8000 and 10000 people, including children and women from Idinthakarai and neighbouring villages started from the Lourde Matha church in Idinthakarai. They walked down the coastal path avoiding the road route and were stopped by the police around 800 metres away from the plant. The protesters sat down on the sea shore and said they will continue their struggle from there. S.P.Udayakumar, co-ordinator of the struggle committee, announced that they want the Tamilnadu government to intervene and respond to the demands of the protesting masses. All the protesters stayed put on the sea shore braving the weather and other hardships.

On the morning of the 10th of september, the police came in with the strike force resorted to a tentative lathi charge around 10.30 am. After a scuffle that lasted a few minutes, police withdrew to a distance and uneasy calm prevailed. “The situation is back to normal,” a protestor told us at 10.30, as if anything about the situation could be considered normal. The congregation of mostly baton-wielding police forces swelled in size. A large riot-gear bedecked police force was in the frontline facing the people, and tear gas lobbers were on stand-by.

After sometime two young men on a fibre boat tried to go towards KKNP. The protesters were against this and took permission from the police and went towards the young men and spoke them back to the place they were all sitting. As the two young men came back the police according to the Tirunelveli SP Vijendra Bidari’s orders, nabbed them. This caused unrest amongst the protesters and they argued with the police, asking why they’re arresting them after they have come back. Around this time at 11.30 Tirunelveli SP Vijendra Bidari announced the protesters to disperse in ten minutes failing which police will take action.

Women formed the first line of protestors and were closest to the plant, while the children and men strung out along the beach towards the Idinthakarai village. Just before the strike began, DIG Rajesh Das instructed the strike force to move towards the centre of the congregation and enter from the centre so as to divide the women and men.

As people all over Tamilnadu and elsewhere were watching this live on television, and even as the reporter was announcing that the ten minute countdown has started we could see tear gas shells being lobbed at the protesters. According to protester who was at the site, “A small commotion over policemen pushing two volunteer youth started and a few women shouted at the police men and a crowd gathered around them. Police men ran towards there and started lathi charge. Even before we could realise, tear gas shells were lobbed at us.”

As we could see from the live telecast, many teargas shells were lobbed and police went into the crowd in force and resorted to heavy lathicharging. Caught between a tide of armed police and the ocean, women and children tried to throw handsful of sand at the policemen to escape lathi blows; children were caught in the melee. A large number of men jumped into the sea, even as members of the Rapid Action Force were caught on television pelting stones, sticks and slippers at those at sea. The police were threatening those wading in the sea with death and bodily harm upon their return to the beach. At one point, the source of this information heard a policeman pointing out to a youth holding a mobile phone and shouting that he was holding a bomb. The source intervened to point out that it was a mobile phone.

Sahaya Initha, a prominent leader of the movement and a ward councillor, was targetted by the police and badly injured.

In a television interview, S.P. Udayakumar, who had by then moved to safety, said that he had been shot at. This incident was confirmed by other by-standers who said that shots were fired at the fibre boat in which Udayakumar was attempting to leave the site.

Media People Injured

Several media persons were injured, and at least one cameraman from Times Now was intentionally targetted. With most of the action centred around the seashore, a separate posse of policemen went about systematically breaking the vehicles used by protestors to come to the protest site. Only one cameraman, from Times Now, was present videographing the actions. The police attacked him causing serious injuries. He required at least four stitches above his eyebrow. His camera was destroyed and thrown into the sea, and the videotape reportedly removed.

Unconfirmed reports state that the motorcycles belonging to three media persons were also damaged in the police action.

A Dinakaran reporter was roughed up, and the Makkal TV reporter was pushed into the thorns.

Police Vandalism

Following in the heels of the departing people, the police also systematically destroyed the expensive outboard engines on the boats parked on the beach. One constable was working to set fire to the pandal, but stopped when he saw a photographer (the source of this information) poised to capture his act on camera. The photographer then alerted the Puthiya Thalaimurai reporter Mr. Ramanujam. The constable tried one more time before giving up, and angrily told the photographer that the latter was disrupting his work. The pandal on the seashore was pulled down. The lights and speakers were broken. Sand was thrown in the food that was prepared for lunch by the protestors.

Entering Idinthakarai

During the course of the melee at the seaside, a separate force of about 400 police persons entered the Idinthakarai village. The media was busy covering the riot-like situation on the coast and did not accompany the police force that went to Idinthakarai village. The police went door-to-door searching for men. When they reached the seaside, they saw about 150 to 200 youth gathered there. The youth dived into the sea to take refuge, while the police opened fire and taunted them from the shore threatening them with dire consequences when they return to shore.

Church Desecrated

It was during this time that the police desecrated the Lourdu Matha shrine. Idols were broken. Policemen spat and urinated inside the church. The pandal (tent) erected to provide shelter to the protestors was pulled down, and the lights vandalized. The water cans were broken. The Tamil Nadu Water and Drainage Board’s public water supply point in Koodankulam village too was reportedly broken.

Women who were watching the goings-on from hidden vantage points also reported that unknown men in white dhotis and shirts were seen stoning police vehicles with the police photographing the same.

News reports stated that the Panchayat office and the local TASMAC (Government-owned wine shop) in Koodankulam were set on fire by the villagers. However, the villagers in Koodankulam insist that no such incident happened. They admit that the awning (asbestos shelter) protruding from the wine shop was damaged. But neither the Panchayat office nor the TASMAC shop were set on fire or damaged.

Later in the evening around sixty five people were arrested from the Koodankulam village. Between 2.00 pm and 3.00 pm the police carried out a house to house search.

Last evening, the police entered the Tsunami Colony in Idinthakarai and conducted a door-to-door search. They also reported damaged a few of the houses.

Current Situation

An uneasy calm prevails. Essential supplies to Idinthakarai village have been blocked. All of yesterday, there was no water, especially since the water reserve was emptied by the police forces. As of 9.30 a.m. on 11 September, no supplies have been allowed to reach the village from beyond Thomas Mandapam, the location of the police barricade. One tractor-load of water was brought in at around 9.30 a.m. from a local source.

At the end of 10.09.2012, we got news that electricity connection to 5 villages has been cut off. Reports say that phone lines many of the villagers are being tapped in order to locate UdayaKumar and the struggle commitee leaders.

Within hours of the police crackdown, protests across the fishing villages across Southern Tamilnadu spread like wildfire. One fisherman, Anthony Samy (40 years) was shot dead in Manappad village, Thoothukudi district. More than 10,000 protestors staged a rail roko at Thoothukudi station delaying the Mysore Express by more than 2 hours.

Injuries, Arrests and Hospitalisations

Many people were arrested at the seashore. Following are the names of some of the people who were arrested:

Sundari; Xavier Amma; Selvi; Bedlin (Kootapuli); Lourdusamy; Rose

A journalist source reported to that the DIG Rajesh Das had told him that 25 people were arrested yesterday.

One child from Koodankulam was reportedly hit on the head by a tear gas shell, and is said to be in a critical stage in the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital. At the time of writing (September 11. 10 a.m.), no confirmation could be obtained about this incident.

The following is a list of people currently hospitalised at the Lourdu Matha Hospital in Idinthakarai:

1. Gnanaprakasam, Male, 80

  1. David, M. 49. Idinthakarai
  2. Gloudin, M, 35, Idinthakarai
  3. Jeniker, M, 26, Idinthakarai
  4. Selvan, M, age not known, Idinthakarai
  5. Joseph, M, 47, village not known
  6. Michael, M, 28, Koothenkuli
  7. Valan, M, 23, Koothenkuli
  8. Thangasamy, M, age not known, Koodankulam
  9. Jeniker, M, 24, Idinthakarai
  10. Kennedy, M, 50, Idinthakarai
  11. Mahiban, M, 3, Idinthakarai
  12. Initha, F, age not known, Idinthakarai
  13. Chennammal, F, Idinthakarai
  14. Jesu Ammal, F, Idinthakarai

Three people hospitalised in Lourdu Matha Hospital, Idinthakarai, were subsequently transferred by the police to a different location. But their current whereabouts are not known. The three people are:

1. Selson, M, Idinthakarai

2. Siluvai John, M, Koothenkuli

3. Jesu, M, Idinthakarai


Sahaya Initha


Anti- nuke activists arrested: 3 anti- nuke activists Suseendaran, Vivekanandan and Thirumurugan were arrested by the DC Saidapet when they went to extend solidarity for the protesting students of Nandanam Arts and Science College. They were released at around 7:30 p.m.

Tamil Nadu has a long tradition of using excessive force to quell protests particularly by marginalised communities. In 1999, 17 dalit tea estate workers were chased into the River Thamiraparani in Tirunelveli district by a baton-charging police force which had descended to quell a strike demanding better working conditions. Exactly a year ago, in Paramakudi, the police violently broke up a dalit gathering to honour their leader Immanuel Sekaran’s, gave hot chase to fleeing people, and shot and killed six dalits and injured more than 30.

Solidarity Protests:


  • Students from Nandanam Arts and Science College staged a lock-in at their campus .
  • Human Rights Protection Council staged a dharna at the Madras High Court.
  • Ma Kaa Ee ka, staged a protest at Panagal Malligai and news report say that 30 people were arrrested.
  • Manitha Neya Makkal Katchi staged a protest in Parry’s Corner and news reports state that 300 were arrested.
  • Amidst heavy police presence, a dozen protestors submitted RTI applications at the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd’s office in Egmore, Chennai, demanding information within 2 days because the matter concerns the lives and liberties of local residents.


  • Advocates protested at the TIruchi District Court campus.
  • Ma Kaa Ee Kaa staged a protest at Tiruchi Bus Station along with support groups.


  • Law college students staged a protest and were lathi charged and dispersed.


  • Members of Naam Thamizhar blocked a road.


  • Nearly 10,000 people, including a large number of fisherfolk, are reported to have staged a protest in front of the Lady of Snows Church in Thoothukudi. All nationalised banks pulled down their shutters in solidarity.
  • Protestors also staged a rail roko and blocked the Mysore express train.


  • Fishing boats observed a no-fishing day. The harbour is closed even today (11 September, 2012)

Manappad, Thoothukudi district

  • Fisherfolk rallied against police atrocities. One man shot dead.

Periyathazhai and Uvari, Thoothukudi district

  • Spontaneous protests by fisherfolk against police action


  • Naam Thamizhar and other supporters blockaded the main road near the Tirunelveli junction. About 40 protestors were detained and released in the evening.

New Delhi:

  • Koodankulam solidarity protest took place in front of the TamilNadu Bhavan, New Delhi.


  • Lokayat organised a protest.

 September 14, 2012

7 p.m. — Child seditionists waging war against the mighty Government of India

Four youngsters — aged between 15 and 16 — that were untraceable for the last three days were finally located at the Palayamkottai Juvenile Home. It took half a day for the Juvenile home to admit that the children were in their custody, and another half a day to unearth information regarding their arrest.

With these arrests, the Koodankulam Police Station has plumbed depths even it has not ventured to in the past.  The youngsters have been charged with upto 14 offences, including sedition and waging war against the state.

Confirmed Details below

Cr.NO. 348/12    Rajakumar s/o Chandran aged 16, Vairavikulam Offences u/s 147, 148, 353, 431, 121(A), 122(A), 395, 307, r/w 149 IPC and  sec 3 of TNPPDL Act
Cr.NO.349/12   Kisan S/o Dolasal aged 16, Idindakarai, off u/s 147, 148, 188, r/w 144 cr.p.c and 332, 352, 355, 294,(b), 307, 427 IPC r/w 149 IPC and sec 13 of unlawful Assembly Act and 3 of TNPPDL ACT.
Cr. No. 351/12  Karuna sahar, s/o Pushparaj aged 15 Koodankulam and Muthukumaresan s/o Ganesan aged 16 Koodankulam
off u/s  147,148, 353, 431, 188 IPC r/w 144 Cr.PC 291, 294(b) 121, 124(A) 307 IPC r/w 149 IPC and 3 of TNPPDL ACT and sec 4 E.S. Act.

by G.Ramesh Advocate, Nellai

ACTION ALERT ( 11:00 am)

Condemn Tamil Nadu Police’s Arbitrary Pick-up, Interrogation and Arrests
Condemn TN Police’s refusal to disclose the FIR

Sathish Kumar is one of the Koodankulam support activists who was picked up in March and imprisoned for 4 months on trumped up charges of “Waging War Against the State.” Yesterday, he, alongwith another acquaintance of his named Muralidharan, were walking out of t

he Anna Centenary Library at around 2.15 p.m.. Both were picked up by Q-branch police. He was taken to Saidapet police station for interrogation. Among other things, he was asked to explain why he was not to be seen in any of the anti-Koodankulam protests since the time of his release on bail last month. At the time that he was picked up, Sathish was not engaged in any activity that could be even vaguely described as “political” — He was walking out of the library.From 2 p.m. to 9.30 p.m., neither his family nor his friends were intimated. His phones were switched off. At around 9.30 p.m., his family and friends learnt that he had been taken to Thiruvanmiyur Police Station and subsequently remanded to judicial custody in Puzhal Jail. It is now more than 20 hours since he was picked up. The family has not been allowed to even see the FIR. Sathish and Muralidharan are still in Jail, and people are still in the dark as to what the charges are.A member of Sathish’s family who was going crazy trying to locate him all of yesterday finally learnt that he was being arrested at the Thiruvanmiyur Police Station. The police deliberately misled her, telling her first that he was being charged under bailable sections, and then non-bailable, and then bailable. Below is an SMS from her:
“7(1)(A) of Criminal Law Amendment Act is non-bailable. Police told us that both are bailable. They didn’t inform the family about pick up; they didn’t share case details with the accused or the family before remand; they have denied us the chance of contesting it by providing false information orally without showing the FIR even after repeated requests.”Please call and fax Commissioner of Police:
JK Tripathy: 9840094500
044-28555034 (Fax). Email —

– from Nityanand.

September 13, 2012

9.00 pm
Another death in Koodankulam:
Mr. Sahayam from Idinthakarai, who was standing in Line Curve bridge and Protesting against Koodankulam Nuclear Plant fell down from the Bridge due to The Indian Coast aircraft which was flying Low, was taken to Nagercoil Hospital in a Difficult Situation and then Announced Dead!!!
A posse of about 10 policemen from Koodankulam Police Station in Tirunelveli today visited the house of Udayakumar’s father at around 2 p.m. They said they wanted to hand over a summons in the name of Meera, wife of Udayakumar. When he refused to accept it, he was threatened and the elderly gentleman — who was alone — was told that he would be taken in. The summons, which was accepted, was issued by the Valliyoor Court and contained the following details:
Crime No. 141/12 and 73/12.
Sections 143, 157 and 291 of IPC read along with 149 of IPC and the 3(b)(c) Religious Institutions Act of 1998.143 — Punishment for unlawful assembly
157 — Harbouring persons hired for unlawful assembly
291 — Continuance of nuisance after injunction to discontinueSec 3(b)(c) of Religious Institutions Act, 1988
3. No religious institution or manager thereof shall use or allow the
use of any premises belonging to, or under the control of, the institution-
(a) for the promotion or propagation of any political activity. or
(b) for the harbouring of any person accused or convicted of an
offence under any law for the time being in force; or
(c) for the storing of any arms or ammunition. or

10.30 am

Latest from Koodankulam: Jal Satyagraha starts in Idinthakarai

People have started walking towards the sea. In large numbers, they will stand in the sea whole day.

Intimidation and terror continues in the villages. The Police in last 3 days have destroyed several boats, bikes, houses…Koodankulam fishermen have bee

n relatively better off. Through their traditional occupation, they earn at least thrice as much daily as they would earn if they join Manmohan Singh’s shinning India and its job guarantee scheme…deliberately, the state is destroying their sources of sustenance.More than 80 people still in jail, including several women. Injured people not able to to go hospitals in the fear of being attacked on the way. A person accompanying his friend on his way to hospital was beaten up yesterday. Food and water supply remains a problem.

September 12, 2012

7.30 p.m.

Based on my conversations with Amirtharaj Stephen, independent photographer currently working out of Idinthakarai.

The day started with Arvind Kejriwal visiting with Udayakumar early in the morning. A press conference was organised. All media was present. Khejriwal laid the blame for the current violence and the death of the fisherman squarely on UPA and Jayalalithaa. He said that this was an instance of state sponsored terror over its own people. He also suggested that corruption and deal-making could be a reason why nuclear power was being pushed despite the intense opposition to it. He pointed out that people opposed to nuclear power were not opposed to development.

Arvind Kejriwal visited Tsunami Colony where houses were vandalised by the police forces. With media in tow, Kejriwal saw damaged houses, destroyed boats and bikes, televisions and refrigerators broken. In Tsunami Nagar, the following houses were seen to have been damaged:
House Nos. 12, 13, 14, 15, 36 and 48.

From one house, Rs. 20,000 and 40 grams (8 pouns) of gold was burgled by the police. In another house, the woman had left her sick husband behind. Hearing the police’s intimidatory knocks on the door, the old man hid behind the refrigerator. The police broke open the door, entered his room, looked around but did not find him. One policeman reportedly saw a bottle of water and drank of it. The water was salty. The old man’s wife said the police man said “Just wait. These guys won’t even have this salty water to drink in a few days.”

Kejriwal proceeded to the Koodankulam P.S. At the police station, he was allowed in, but the media was blocked. But the suspense turned out to be an anti-climax as Kejriwal returned to report that the police station was empty.

In the afternoon, after Mr. Arvind Kejriwal’s departure, members of Muslim party SDPI arrived and offered their solidarity to the Koodankulam protestors. Vaiko, General Secretary of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (a political party that has supported the struggle from the start) also came, and Mai Pa Jesuraj recounted the details of the events of the last two days. Vaiko condemned the state government.

In Vairavu Kinaru village, Kejriwal visited the home of Rajakumaran, a 16 year old ITI student who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The police were on their house-to-house check. They reached his house and demanded to know if there were any men around. Hearing the noise, Rajakumar who was feeding his pigeons on the rooftop looked over the wall. The police picked him up and packed him off reportedly to Vellore Central Jail.

The priest and fisherfolk from Kanyakumari visited to lend their support to the struggle.

People then observed a 2-minute silent tribute to Anthony Samy of Manappad, who had lost his life to police bullets. (via Nityanand Jayaraman)

4.00 pm

Arundhati Roy’s message on Koodankulam: 

“I stand in complete solidarity with the villagers of Idinthakarai who are resisting the fuel loading of the Koodankulam nuclear reactor. I happened to be in Japan in March 2011 when the earthquake damaged the Fukushima reactor. After the disaster, almost every country that uses nuclear energy declared that it would change its policy. Every country, except India. Our Government has shown itself incapable of even being able to dispose day to day garbage, leave alone industrial effluent or urban sewage. How does it dare to say that it knows how to deal with nuclear waste? And that nuclear reactors in India are safe? We know how the Government has colluded with Union Carbide (now Dow Chemicals) to ensure that the victims of the Bhopal Gas Leak will never get justice. But no amount of compensation can ever right a nuclear disaster. I do believe that what is being done in Koodankulam in the name of Development is a crime.”

12.00pmKejriwal slams Jaya ‘terror tactics

IAC activist Arvind Kejriwal who travelled to Kudankulam to express support for the people’s agitation against the nuclear power plant has slammed what he has called ‘terror tactics’ by Jayalalithaa and the Tamil Nadu police.  ”Police came and broke idols in the church in Idinthakarai and also urinated on the stage. They destroyed motorcycles and boats: What law gives them the right to destroy property? These are terror tactics by Jayalalithaa – how can she do this to the people who voted for her?”, he said, in a media address at the Idinthakarai village which has been the site of a sustained anti-nuclear protest.

In addition to physical intimidation, Kejriwal charged that the people were also being targeted by the law, pointing out that the charges framed against the villagers included that of sedition and attempt to murder. “ These unarmed people have been charged under sedition! Everyone in this country is being charged with sedition!”, said Kejriwal, who also made a reference to jailed Mumbai cartoonist Aseem Trivedi.

Kejriwal added that he had convinced PMANE convenor Udayakumar not to court arrest, saying that it was imperative that he stayed outside jail. “We are exploring bail options. He is doing a commendable job and needs to stay outside jail”, Kejriwal said. (via

8.45 am.
(via Nityanand Jayaraman)
I spoke to Sagaya Initha, a resident of Tsunami Colony, ward councillor and a prominent activist in the local anti-nuclear movement. This is what she had to say:
“Last evening, I was at the Lourdu Matha church with the protest. The police entered Tsunami colony and went on a rampage. At least three houses have been badly damaged. Children’s ear-rings and other small jewellery have been stolen. The window panes in at least 25 houses have been destroyed. They have been beating up just about any youth that walks by. Two people were arrested. The cycle parked in front of my house is broken. But now, looking around me and seeing the extent of damage to other people’s property, I feel that my loss is not that significant. The police has opened cup-boards and almirahs and pulled out people’s clothes. Has the police department been instructed to loot our property? Are they police or dacoits?”

8.00 am

3 women have been arrested on 10th morning as they ran into the sea after the tear gas was shelled. They are Xavieramma, Sundari and Selvi from idinthakarai. police lock up location unknown.

One lady from tsunami colony was arrested this morning.

Heavy police presence all over.

60 houses in tsunami colony broken up. Belongings thrown, almirahs destroyed. Many houses destroyed in Idinthakarai main village.

No drinking water. electric supply intermittent. Yesterday night no supply for 5 hours.

20 men who were hospitalised for injuries have been taken away by police.

65 men from koodankulam were arrested on the first day- there whereabouts still unknown .

State of fear continues.

Women, children and men in the samara pandal near church in idinthakarai- refusing to go home as police might take them away. Police occasional marching through village.

September 11, 2012:

11.30 pm

Arvind Kejriwal reached Idinthakarai late evening today and spoke to people in the village. He also addressed the media there. He requested Dr. S P Udayakumar not to surrender to the police as he is fighting for a just cause. He said the Anna movement is totally behind the Koodankulam struggle.

Arvind Kejriwal will be there tomorrow in Idinthakarai and further course of the movement will be discussed.

People are still intimidated by heavy police presence in the area. Fishermen from neighbouring villages supplied water to Idinthakarai today, that’s a relief.

Eminent lawyer Prashant Bhushan has filed an SLP on Koodankulam in the Supreme Court today.

Meanwhile, protests were observed in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu. The Chief Minister made a statement appealing to the people to stay calm, reassuring that the Koodankulam reactors are safe!

3.00 pm
People in the meeting at Idinthakarai village have decided that Dr. S P Udayakumar should not surrender before the police. Fearing more crackdown on innocent people in bid to arrest him, Dr. Udayakumar had offered to court arrest today.

10.00 am

Koodankulam update: Just spoke to Dr. S P udayakumar.

The police is spreading rumours that Idinthakarai villagers have held 5 polce personnel hostage, including 2 officers. The villagers are apprehensive of major police crackdown.

To avoid this, Dr. Udayakumar has decided to court arrest this evening at 9 pm.

More than 100 fictitious police cases are held against Dr. Udayakumar, including sedition, war against the Indian state etc. If arrested, the govt put him in jail for long time like Dr. Binayak Sen.

People in Idinthakarai and other villages are opposed to this idea and they are having a meeting to discuss their course of action.

September 10, 2012:

10.30 pm (update by Muthu Krishnan)

The protestors spent the whole night at the seashore amidst the chilling breeze, the morning was a very new day in the history of this peaceful fast that has been taking place for more than 400 days. Police has been attacking unarmed villagers who were there to continue their fast on the beach – 500 meters away from the KKNPP against the loading of uranium in the reactor.

The Madras High Court had last week let down the protesting people by giving nod for functioning of the reactor in a case where deliberations went for months on the temperature levels of effluents to be released into the sea. The Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board had first mentioned as 45 degrees Celsius as the temperature of the effluents and later like a roadside bargain tinkered the report and submitted as 37 degrees Celsius without any scientific methodologies to mention.

We have reports of violence of the State Machinery spreading to more villages so far more than 60 people have been arrested and firing of tear gas shells and lathi charge is still on since morning. One girl child was trampled to death by the merciless boots of the khaki clad men. Protests in support of the anti-nuclear protestors has been spreading from Kanyakumari to Rameshwaram through out the coast of Tamilnadu. There has been also news of protest pouring in from Chennai to Delhi. Many people have been arrested in various cities.

Police had opened fire on Dr. S.P. Udayakumar the convenor of PNAME, he along with fellow protestors had escaped by lying on the ground and they managed to escape the brutal plans of the intimidating police force. The Police have entered the Idindakarai village for the first time since this protest has begun last year. They have been knocking every other door searching for the leaders. They have been publicly announcing all the households to push Udayakumar out to the streets and not provide shelter to any of the leaders. They have been conducting a search raid in all the houses. They have been also announcing that if Udayakumar was found in any of the houses, the whole family would be encountered to death.

This is very clear that the Govt and its brutal force is not ready to arrest Dr.S.P.Udayakumar, but have orders to kill him at sight. Just some minutes ago Anthonysamy a fishermen from Tutucorin was shot dead by the police. More news is pouring in, More news that chilling the heart, Many of the injured are still caught in the cross fire with no first aid reaching them, they are hungry and thirst with just rubber bullets to eat and tear gas to breath.

10.00 pm

While the people are resolute to continue the struggle peacefuly, the police atrocities continue in the whole area unabated. Police ransacked houses in Indithakarai village, searching for the leading activists.

Its a chaotic night in Koodankulam. The police has cut down the supply and communication lines in the villages, hence they are not in touch with each other. Leading activists are surrounded by masses to avoid arrest.

Anthony Samy, a fisherman, was shot in his stomach at Manapadu village by the police and was matyred. Although it is hard to ascertain total losses today, at least 50 people have been badly beaten, 7 of whom are serioussly injured. People in surrounding villages are in shock at this treatment by the govt.

14 people have started hunger strike at the Idinthakarai Church.

12.50 am

Chaos and violence in Idinthakarai. Seems like childern and women are taking refuge in School, 2000 police in front of St. Lourdes Church. Please help us to save people.

12.00 am

Baton charge and tear gas shells being lobbed. People running towards sea. Hemmed in between armed police and the sea.

11.30 am

SMS from Dr. S P Udayakumar: Police are intimidating people by moving closer, swaying batons. Thousands of women and children are here. Officials threatened with naval intervention. Situation is very tense and dangerous. We need your appeals to the governments.

10.30 am

Police forces moved inside the siege area and also resorted to baton charge, which was resisted by people. The people refused to yield, and the forces withdrew. “The situation is back to normal,” according to my informant, if what prevailed before the lathi charge could be considered normal. There is a larger congregation of forces, mostly wielding batons. A large riot-gear bedecked police force is in the frontline facing the people, and tear gas lobbers are apparently on stand-by.

In Chennai, a mass RTI campaign invoking the Life and Liberty clause is being planned at the NPCIL office at No. 51 Montieth Road, Egmore, Chennai 8, at 3 p.m. (via Nityanand Jayaraman)

9:00 am.

We just spoke to S P Udayakumar, the humble and inspiring teacher who has been leading consistently non-violent protests in Koodankulam.

Thousands of people spent whole night yesterday under open sky near the sea, refusing to go home. The weather was cold and rough. The people have laid siege 500 metres from the reactor compound, braving the armed police. There was some commotion mid-night amid rumors that the police is arresting the leaders. People are protecting the leading activists, against whom the govt has slapped fictitious criminal charges including sedition, by forming layers of human-shield around them.

People have demanded that the planned fuel loading in the reactor must be immediately stopped. They have also demanded prohibitory orders imposed in the entire area for last several months must be revoked, so that people from neighbouring villages could visit them without fear and bring food and water.

Dr. Udayakumar told that the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu should address the real issue threatening the people, rather than championing pro-Tamil cause by gimmicks such as sending back Sri Lankan football team etc. He said that the 25,000 people from Idinthakarai and surrounding villages are ready to offer themselves as volunteers to do everything possible to solve the state’s electricity crisis – from facilitating power conservation to helping build renewable plants.

Yesterday, the people refused to have any dialogue with the local administration, demanding positive assurance from the political leadership. The siege will continue today and there will be a meeting in the afternoon to discuss further course of action.

Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP)

Statement on the precarious situation in Koodankulam and apprehensions of police repression

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL)’s recent announcement to conduct initial fuel loading (IFL) in Koodankulam Nuclear Power Station-1 on September 11th has met with general disapproval and serious apprehensions of possible police crackdown on Idinthakarai and other surrounding villages where people have been agitating against the project in consistently peaceful and democratic manner. While independent experts, eminent citizens and social figures have opposed commissioning of the reactor without addressing the crucial concerns, the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) has declared that it will intensify the struggle on the ground through a Satyagraha starting 9th September.

The news about enhanced police force in Koodankulam has raised apprehensions that the government will resort to large-scale repression, violating people’s right to peaceful protests. Already more than 7,000 people in Koodankulam are facing serious charges like sedition and war against the state.

We urge that both the State and the Central Governments observe utmost restraint in dealing with people’s agitation. We also reiterate our demand that the Koodankulam and other reactor projects must be stopped and following an immediate moratorium on the nuclear expansion, the government should go for widest possible democratic consultation on desirability and feasibility of nuclear energy projects in India.

Anil Chaudhary
Admiral L Ramdas
Achin Vanaik
Amarjeet Kaur
Sukla Sen
Praful Bidwai
and others

Live Updates

September 9, 2012

20,000 people – including thousands of children and women – continue to lay peaceful siege tonight along the eastern compound of the reactor.

The protest is on amid adverse weather and scarcity of food and drinking water. Their supply is mainly through sea-route and that also is disrupted due to bad sea-weather. People denied any talk with the local administration demanding political dialogue at the higher level.

The authorities’ strategy seems to be exhausting the people and their struggle. But the local community is resolute to continue to fight. Agitations being planned in several cities in support of Koodankulam. Protest at Tamil Nadu Bhawan in Delhi tomorrow afternoon.

Villagers in Koodankulam have shut their shops in support of the protesting villagers in Idinthakarai. Approximately 4000 of them have assembled in the RC church campus in Koodankulam.

“We’ve laid siege to KKNPP near the sea. We avoided police and averted untoward incidents. We’re still by the sea requesting CM to sepak. Please come here and support us. We need you!” – PMANE, S. P. Udayakumar.

Seige continues in Koodankulam: At least 20,000 people on the eastern coumpound wall from the sea side.

People refused to talk to the Superintendent of Police (SP), the District Collector of Thirunelveli is expected to arrive. Administration’s demand to talk to the movement leaders – against whom sedition and other charges are slapped – is also refused by the people.

20,000 people march along the seashore to the eastern compound wall of Koodankulam nuclear power plant (kknpp). Women, youth and children in the forefront. people’s movement against nuclear energy co-ordinators S P Udayakumar and Pushparayan in the midst of the group. Tide is high and sun is intense. Drinking water is a problem. People from Koodankulam and other villages joining.

3000 police on the ground. Thirunelveli district collector expected soon. People refused to talk to Thirunelveli Superintendent of Police (SP)
– Satish

Muthuvel Janakarajan
Tirunelveli SP Vijeyandra Bidari has reached the spot. The police are right next to the protesters now. Protesters say that the SP is making some announcement on the megaphone but they are not able to hear anything.

Thousand people from Periya thaalai village who were on their way to Idinthakarai were stopped by the police. The people are now on their way to attend a hunger protest held in Pani maya madha church in Tuticorin. Fishermen from Tuticorin are already on a hunger protest at the church. The police is not allowing protestors to head towards Idinthakarai to participate in the protest.

(Received at 1 pm, September 9, 2012)

Latest updates from Idinthakarai

Joseph John Sunder

September 9, 2012

10pm : People are determined.Some prepared for sleeping.some chatting and youngsters keep the vigil.there are plans in case of emergency.The Government’s apathy lead the people to stone age .Sleeping on open place.Women, children, Old and men are at seashore.They have to brave the weather.

6:00PM: KNPP east compound wall: People stay united, exhausted after day of tension, heat, sandy wind, empty stomach, may be time to relax bit. Evening weather turning chill, hope it lighters the heavy hearts. People just go out for refresh, quick bite and returning to the venue. Fresh people joining may motive people gathered already. Only headcount will save people and stop KN

Please support us. Police seems to doing their duty on rotation. Our sympathies are with them as well. Same conditions apply may be the exception of stomach. ( News unconfirmed > there are 3000 people gathered in front of Kundankulam church to take the protest to next leave, we hope and pray that is true.)

4.45 PM:KNPP east compound wall: Police strength reduced moved to KNPP front gate. Looks like Govt. started its dirty game, not to care about people, make them suffer for days, it become the tactics of Govts, in various recent protests. Govt. expects violence to end this protest. Make the people lose hope and suffer. Their strategy will not work with us, we have nothing to lose, Govts and educated elite can give up Gandhian thoughts, but we poor are not, we still believe in non-violence. We appeal all to step up the pressure to make Govt respond. We are poor and helpless, we fear about our livelihood being lost, please support us.

3.15PM: KNPP east compound wall: Arrangements are made to make temporary shelters, may be to make toilets for women. Lunch parcels are under preparation, Weather make it tough. Police bring some vehicle indicates preparations for arrest, people are on high alert.

2.15PM: KNPP east compound wall: High tide, waves raising so as people, number keep growing, hot sun makes people look for shades, only water supply so far, efforts are on to supply food parcels. Supply and logistic are next big issue. Another Mullaivaikal in making. News of Collector in site looking for SPU for talk but people demand that Officials should talk to people.

1.30pm : KNPP east compound wall: High tide, please losing the shore, weather is improving. Large crowd continue to build, one end as at east wall and other end is at Idindakari west Thundil Paalam. People are supplied with water. Kudankulam keep joining, this is the time for others to join.

1.10 pm: KNPP east compound wall: Kudankulam people started joining the protest; police seems to be losing grip on inland, making it easy for Kudankulam to join the protest, hope and pray more and more people join to the feast to stop KNPP.

12.50 pm KNPP east compound wall: More than 25000 people are on seashore, just 50 meters away from plant wall, around 3000 police men/women are put to control the ground. People are behaving orderly, well in control of SPU, SPU among the crowd, location is not enough to accommodate 25000+, so facing hardship , hot weather, but all aware this suffering is to save the generation. Let Politicians and official not underestimate people, all future plans are well wrapped secret.

12.15pm: KNPP east compound wall: Marched stopped, people are just 100feet way from police, people wait for SPU’s command. People are asked to sit in seashore. People still joining. Weather make it hard, hope Govt , political and religious leaders respond soon

11.50am: KNPP east compound wall: Marched stopped for a while to gather/accumulate all the people walking, police also reaching the site. Looks like SPU may address the crowd for further action.

11.40am: March reaching few feets away from KNPP east side wall, huge crowd follows Udayakumar, people very well received the idea of the location, very hot weather, sea breeze give little comfort, we will have one leg always sea, our mother.

11.20am : Around 30000 people started marching, one the way many people expected to join the way. Udayakumar, Pushparayan, MAIPA and Milton leading the march, followed by children, women, then followed up people. Another prayer expected in St. Xavier’s church in west, then head towards KNPP.

11.00am: S P Udayakumar is speaking, marching is starting, SPU will lead the march, people will follow him, the march will follow the “தேர்” route in IDK and head towards KNPP.

10.30 am: Benediction is underway, people still coming up, hence bit of a delay in starting the march, March expected to start anytime.

9.45am: Huge crowed build up, people pouring in from all villages, Youth committee meeting underway to advice on crowd control, March is expected to start after Benediction service.

9.20am: March expected to start around 10am, huge crowd presence in front of the church, Kuthankuzhi in full strength, representation from other villages are also seen. IDK is till joining, March route is not known, people are expecting SPU’s word on that.

8.30am: Crowd building up in front of St. Lourds church, IDK started joining people come from other parts. Instructions are announced to advise people behave orderly.

7 am: Idindakarai is peaceful and calm, more than 5000 from nearby villages arrived by boat and foot. IDK is getting ready for Sunday Mass. March to save mankind is expected to start at 9am

Latest pictures: Courtesy: Amirtharaj Stephen

People in Koodankulam braving rough weather under the open sky in the night. Photo courtesy: Anthony Kebiston Fernando


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