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Kerala and Tamilnadu Police Block Kerala Intellectuals’ Antinuclear March to Koodankulam

Kerala-Kudankulam march led by Sugathakumari, Sara Joseph and K Ajitha.
Kerala-Kudankulam march led by Sugathakumari, Sara Joseph and K Ajitha. Photo: Deccan Chronicle

On Sunday, September 16, at Inchivila on the Kerala-Tamilnadu border, Kerala police stopped over 200 Kerala antinuclear protesters from proceeding to Kudankulam. The protesters led by prominent writers, environmental and social activists, responded to a call for support from the fisher folk of Kudankulam.

At Parassala, Malayalam poetess Sugatha Kumari inaugurated the March organised by the Kerala Anti-Nuclear Support Group. She said the agitation against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant should not be left to the local villagers living around the nuclear plant. She recalled how the people of Kerala stalled the nuclear plant planned in Peringom, in North Kerala.

Writer Sarah Joseph addresses the Kudankulam Solidarity march at Parassala near Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday. Photo: The Hindu

Writer Sarah Joseph pointed out that opposition to the nuclear power plant was gaining in strength with the former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission coming out against it. Therefore, the Prime Minister’s suggestion that the emotional and mental health of the agitating local villagers ought to be checked had forfeited its validity.

The stopped marchers led by poet Sugathakumari, writer Sarah Joseph, Vicar-General Fr. Eugene Pereira of the Thiruvananthapuram Archdiocese, former diplomat M.K. Bhadrakumar, and social activists K. Ajitha, B.R.P. Bhaskar, C.R. Neelakantan, Vilayodi Venugopal, Gandhian P. Gopinathan, and N. Subramanian, staged a sit-in on the highway.

Even after the police action, 60-odd activists of the Kerala Anti-Nuclear Support Group, which organised the March, proceeded to Kudankulam by bus. However, Tamilnadu police stopped them at Anchugramam. Even so, a small group went to Nagercoil and attempted to reach Kudankulam in a private bus.


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Well said Mr. Udaya Kumar …

Anti-nuclear activist Uday Kumar on Friday criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the his statement that the NGOs based in the United States are fuelling the Kudankulam nuclear plant protests, and asked the Prime Minister either to prove the charge or step down.

This is the report that appeared in IBN Live India.

“The Prime Minister should take back his statement. If the Prime Minister can’t prove his charge then he should step down. The Prime Minister is not an elected PM but a nominated one, that’s why he is insulting the people of India,” said Kumar.

“It is nonsense to say that NGO’s from the US and Scandinavian countries are funding the Kudankulam protest,” he said.

“The Prime Minister, who is the head of the country, can’t make such remarks. He has no sympathy. Lakhs of people are struggling and instead of acknowledging, he is accusing us of receiving money. We are not receiving money from any NGO,” said Kumar.

“His ministerial colleague Narayansamy said the same thing. Why can’t he produce some evidence to prove his charge? The Prime Minister insults the people of the country,” said the activist.

Hiting out at anti-nuclear activists for the first time and questioning the source of their funding, Manmohan Singh, in an interview in the journal ‘Science’, said, “The atomic energy program has got into difficulties because these NGOS, mostly, I think, based in the US, don’t appreciate the need for our country to increase energy. The local NGO-led protests have stalled the commissioning of two 1000 MW nuclear reactors.”

However, supporting Manmohan Singh’s claim, Iowa State University scientist Dr Sivramiah Shantharam said, “The Prime Minister is right on the dot. It is a very well known fact that international NGOs, both from US and Europe, who in alliance with local NGOs whip up trouble. All the frenzy was whipped up by them after receiving funding to create anxiety and suspicion about bio-tech advancements.”

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