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Kudankulam: Protests spread, activists on fast

Sep 11, 2012 07:19 PM IST India India

Kudankulam: Protests have intensified against the nuclear power plant at Kudankulamin Tirunellveli-Kattabomman district of Tamil Nadu with activist and Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) Convenor SP Udayakumar threatening to court arrest along with other leaders if the plant is operationalised while senior lawyer Prasant Bhushan moved the Supreme Court against the loading of fuel.

Udayakumar alleged that the police had been spreading false rumours about the protestors being violent. "This is a big victory for the common man. We have brought attention to our cause not just in India but to an international audience as well," said Udayakumar.

However, protestors say that they would not allow Udayakumar to court arrest and added that they would not allow the police anywhere near their leader.

An uneasy calm prevailed in the area with people sitting on relay hunger strike at Idinthakarai, near Kudankulam while police arrested 14 more protestors in connection with Monday's violence and stone pelting.

Meanwhile, anti-Kudankulam protests were also reported from Chennai, Coimbatore and Erode where activists of MDMK, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and some Tamil outfits staged demonstrations condemning the police action before they were arrested.

A bus was stoned on arterial Anna Salai in Chennai while protesters tried to block a train in Coimbatore, police said. MDMK and VCK workers were arrested in Puducherry also when they resorted to picketing at various places.

Police sources said around 400 agitators were taken into custody.

Amidst the violent protests at Kudankulam, Supreme Court lawyer and anti-corruption crusader Prashant Bhushan on Tuesday filed a petition in the apex court to stop fuel loading at the nuclear power plant.

In his petition, Bhushan said that the own task force of the government had recommended 17 safety features to be installed at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant.

He alleged that the plant was being commissioned without installing those critical safety features, putting to grave risk the lives of millions of citizens.

The petition further said, “The government has also absolved the Russian company that is supplying the nuclear reactor from any liability in case of an accident in complete violation of the absolute liability principle.”

The petition by Bhushan challenged the order of the Madras High Court which gave a go-ahead to the plant. It is likely to be heard by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.