Jaitapur now calm; Sena continues stir

Yogita Limaye | Updated: April 20, 2011, 8:57 PM IST

Ratnagiri: The tension in Jaitapur finally diffused after the family of the man who lost his life in Monday's firing claimed his body and performed the last rites. But the incident has aggravated people from the villages near the power project and certain posters put up by the Shiv Sena across villages in Ratnagiri district adding to the fear factor about the nuclear plant, particularly after the disaster in Japan.

Shiv Sena's senior leader Manohar Joshi said, "We don't want electricity at the cost of our people. The experts say the fish will all die."

On April 9, the Shiv Sena Executive President had visited Jaitapur where he claimed the Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh too had reservations about Jaitapur post the Japan tsunami. When on Friday Jairam Ramesh showed his support for the project in a joint press conference with the Maharashta Chief Minister, the Shiv Sena decided to ramp up its opposition to the project. The state government has called this a conspiracy.

State Industries Minister Narayan Rane said, "If people are opposed to the project, in a democracy, they have a right to peacefully protest and discuss the issue. But what the Shiv Sena is doing is, instigating the people and causing violence which should not happen."

While it is easy to spread panic about a complex issue like the nuclear power plant, the state government's initial lack of transparency too has left people suspicious. The Chief Minister's visit proved to be too little too late and now with the Shiv Sena on the offensive, it's an uphill task for the state government to pacify the people of Jaitapur.

First Published: April 20, 2011, 8:57 PM IST

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