Kudankulam protest: 250 anti-nuclear activists arrested
Police said they planned to join People`s Movement for Nuclear Energy Activists agitating against commissioning of the KNPP.
Kudankulam (TN): Around 250 people were arrested in Tuticorin when they attempted to set out on a march to express solidarity with anti-nuclear agitators here who on Sunday buried themselves upto waist in beach sand, in a new form of protest against loading of fuel in Kudankuklam plant.
A `solidarity march` by cultural leaders from Kerala to Kudankulam to express support with the anti-nuclear activists here was also stopped on the state`s border with Tamil Nadu.
Leader of Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), which is spearheading the protest here, meanwhile, offered unconditional talks with the central and state governments and said they were ready to give up the agitation if the government assured that fuel would not be loaded for now.
After `jal satyagraha`, the protesters, including women, shifted their stir from sea to beach and buried themselves upto waist at nearby Kootapuli, holding placards against the Centre and state governments.
Earlier, taking a cue from a similar protest demanding land as compensation and reduction in water level of Omkareshwar Dam recently by villagers of Khandwa district in Madhya Pradesh, the protesters under PMANE too had launched the `jal satyagraha`, forming human chain in sea waters from September 13.
However, the `jal satyagraha` was suspended for two days yesterday.
The latest bout of intensified protests have been launched after authorities gave the go ahead for loading fuel in the plant.
Around 250 members of smaller parties were arrested in Tuticorin, about 50 km from here, when they attempted to set out on a march to Idinthakarai to express solidarity with the anti-KNPP protesters.
Actor-Director Seeman, heading the `Naam Tamizhar Iyakkam`, Periyar Dravida Kazhagam leader Kolathur Mani and workers of Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam were among those arrested, police said.
Udhayakumar, for whom police have launched a search, told reporters over phone from an undisclosed place that he was open for unconditional talks with the central and state governments.
Udayakumar, who has been in hiding since last week after the year-long protest turned violent, said they were ready to give up the agitation if the government assured that fuel would not be filled for now.
The PMANE leader alleged that the expert committees formed by the state and central governments to address the safety concerns of the protesters neither held any discussions with the people nor heard their views.
A `solidarity march` by 100 cultural leaders from Kerala to Kudankulam to express support with the anti-nuclear activists here was also stopped at Kaliyakavila on the state`s border with Tamil Nadu.
The march, inaugurated by noted poet and environmental activist Sugathakumari at Parasalla, was stopped when it reached Kaliyakavila, a Thiruvananthapuram report quoting police said.