TN police books anti-nuclear plant protesters
Tirunelveli: Acting tough on those
behind the over three-month long protest against Koodankulam
nuclear power plant, police have booked several persons,
including its leader SP Udhayakumar, a bishop, MDMK chief
Vaiko and social activist Medha Patkar on different counts.
Police on Thursday said they have registered 76 cases for various
offences including unlawful assembly, use of place of worship
for propagating against the government, spreading rumours,
instigating protests, preventing government employees from
doing their work and public nuisance.
Bishop Yvon Ambrose and other priests of the Tuticorin
diocese, who have pledged their support to the protest,
demanding scrapping of the Rs 13,000 crore Indo-Russian
project, are among the accused named in the FIR, they said.
Cases have been registered under different sections of the
Indian Penal Code, Police Regulation Act and CrPC, police
Besides Udhayakumar, convener of People`s Movement Against
Nuclear Energy (PMAE), police have also booked M Pushparayan,
a member of the six-member committee set up by Tamil Nadu
Government on the issue.
The registration of cases comes close on the heels of
Minister of State in the PMK, V Narayanasamy`s recent remarks
that a probe had been ordered into various aspects of the
agitation, including source of its funding.
Narayanasamy, the Centre`s pointsman to resolve the
standoff over the issue, had raised questions about how the
movement was being sustained for such a long period.
According to police, the Christian priests were using
places of worship for organising the protests, which was
against the law.
The premises of St Lourdes Church in Idinthakarai, the
epicentre of the stir which has delayed the commissioning of
the first reactor scheduled for next month, was being used as
a protest venue, police said.
Police said the Bishops of Roman Catholic sect and Church
of South India were openly supporting the agitation which was
now spreading to other areas including Valliyoor.
Police alleged the priests were instigating the locals
against the project.
"Some are asking the people to revolt against the
government and against the plant. This is unfair. The shops
are closed, the life is not normal...this cannot be allowed to
go on indefinitely," they said.
Besides Vaiko, PMK President GK Mani, Thol
Thirumavalavan of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, DMDK MLA
Michael Royappan and Medha Patkar are among those charged with
taking part in the protest held without police permission,
Police and the Income tax sleuths were also monitoring
the bank accounts to prevent misuse of church funds for any
other purpose, they said.
Meanwhile, the 15-member experts committee set up by the
Centre to allay safety concerns of the local people, visited
the plant site for the second day today.
The committee members yesterday scrutinised documents
relating to the safety aspects of the plant and held detailed.
Discussions with senior experts at the plant site, official
Atomic experts from Mumbai made a power point
presentation explaining the salient features of the plant.
The committee members would be taken around the plant to
enable them personally verify whether all safety features had
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