Tag Archives: Rapid Action Force

Kudankulam: Jal Satyagraha Against the Nuclear Power Plant


It’s not for pleasure we are in the sea. This nuclear plant is a curse and nobody is going to benefit out of it. Only a disaster can convince our politicians and the government. Then we won’t be alive to tell that story.” — 15-year-old Rishika Raj.

Living on a prayer Anti-nuke protesters hope for divine intervention. Photo: Amritaraj Stephen
Living on a prayer Anti-nuke protesters hope for divine intervention. Photo: Amritaraj Stephen

During the past one year, the villagers living in areas surrounding the Koodankulam atomic power plant launched hunger strikes, tonsured their heads, went to jail, met the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister, and filed cases in various courts with a simple demand — to save their lives, their soil and their water from the killer nuke plant.

However, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Commission (AERC) has given its consent to loading enriched uranium fuel in the first of the two nuclear reactors at the
Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP), and the government has scheduled dates for commissioning the plant.

Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) released the following statement on Wednesday night:

Today we are surrounded by the police, beaten up, harassed, accused of committing all kinds of crimes, arrested, and above all, mentally, emotionally, spiritually assaulted. We are fisherfolk, shopkeepers, agricultural laborers, beedi-rolling women, working class people. We do not steal public money, we do not amass wealth through illegal business deals, and we do not plunder the nation’s natural wealth. But we are treated like criminals and dangerous to civil society.” (sic)

PMANE also appealed for the support from civil society at large:

Several people including a baby are missing. Around 53 non-violent protesters have been charged with sedition and are languishing in various prisons in Tamil Nadu. Thousands of families are living in fear and despair. If you think we are your brethren, please join us.” (sic)

Taking a cue from the recent ‘jal satyagraha‘ (protesting while standing in water) launched by the farmers in various regions of Madhya Pradesh, the villagers at Idinthakarai decided to launch their own ‘standing waist–deep in the sea’ protest against the impending loading enriched uranium fuel at the atomic power plant.

Koodankulam: Jal Satyagraha on September 13 (Photo: Tehelka)
Kudankulam: Jal Satyagraha on September 13 (Photo: Tehelka)

On Thursday, September 13, at 11 a.m., braving the scorching sun, hundreds of men, women and children from Idinthakarai and the neighbouring villages, assembled outside the church of “Our Lady of Lourdes” in Idinthakarai. Led by Reverend Father M. Jesuraj, they walked down to the coast. They raised slogans against police brutality, the Central government and the Tamilndu State government. They waded into the sea about a kilometer away from the nuclear plant. Hundreds of women and children waded into the sea along with the men. They remained there the whole day.

Father Jesuraj remained in the sea with his people for five long hours. He said, “It is not easy to remain in sea for five long hours under the scorching sun. It is not like standing in a lake or a river. The tide is strong. We are forced to do it as the situation is drifting from bad to worse.” (sic)

Coast guards deployed Dornier aircraft for aerial surveillance while the protesters continued their agitation in the sea. They continued their protest till 4 p.m.

They decided to continue the ‘jal satyagraha‘ until the government shuts down the plant. Pushparayan, a leader of PMANE, told reporters, “Women and men would stand in the sea waters for two hours in turns.”

On Thursday, the Supreme Court refused to enforce stay on loading fuel at the Kudankulam plant. However, the judges agreed to examine the risk associated to the project and added that the safety of the people living in its vicinity concerned them.

Now, more than 4,000 police personnel reinforced by Rapid Action Force, continue to maintain strict vigil after having sealed the entire Kudankulam area.

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Bangalore Police, Railway Officials Say, “The Exodus Has Stopped.”


At Guwahati Railway Station on August 20, 2012
At Guwahati Railway Station on August 20, 2012

Since last week, as many as 30,000 people from the northeast have fled from Bangalore. The exodus was triggered by rumours of attacks. The city is now under heavy security. To instill trust in the minds of the panic-stricken Northeasterners, as many as 17,000 police force, supported by Rapid Action Force are standing by. The Karnataka State Reserve Police, has been recalled for active duty.

A few days ago, Indian Railways, ran additional train services to Guwahati to meet the sudden onrush of fleeing Northeasterners. However, for the past two days, they did not operate any special services. Travelers from Bangalore are now being told to board the Yeshwanthpur – Howrah Express from Yeshwanthpur and then proceed to Guwahati from Howrah.

On Sunday night, Mr. R. Ashoka, Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister of Karnataka went on rounds with top police officials. He visited places largely populated by people from the northeastern states. He said that he would work incessantly to ensure their safety.

On Monday August 20, the police and the railway authorities in Bangalore said that the exodus of North-easterners back to their home-states seemed to have ended. This they believed was due to the scaled-up security along with measures implemented to create confidence.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Suneel Kumar told PTI, “The situation is absolutely peaceful and normal with people observing the Ramzan festival with usual bonhomie. People from the northeast are going about their chores without any disturbance, and the exodus has completely stopped. People from the northeastern states are safe and secure.”

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