Uneasy calm in Kudankulam; protesters on relay fast

An uneasy calm prevailed on Tuesday with police tightening vigil as anti-nuclear protesters continued with their relay fast at Idinthakari.

Updated: Sep 11, 2012, 11:45 AM IST

Kudankulam (TN): An uneasy calm prevailed here on Tuesday with police tightening vigil as anti-nuclear protesters continued with their relay fast at Idinthakari, epicentre of protests against the Kudankulam Nuclear Plant, condemning the action against anti-KNPP activists.

Police here said the situation was calm but they are keeping a strict vigil. "Security has been stepped up," sources said.

Sources close to S P Udhayakumar, convener of People`s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, spearheading the protest against KNPP, said key leaders including him and Pushparayan, will court arrest by turning up at the Kudankulam Police Station tonight.

The agitation had turned violent yesterday when one person was killed in police firing when protesters tried to attack a police station at Manapad in Tuticorin district.

The year-long agitation, confined to Indinthakarai and nearby villages, spilled over to neighbouring Tuticorin district and was intensified after authorities announced loading of uranium fuel in the plant.

Police had also resorted to lathicharge and firing of teargas shells yesterday as the seashore in Indinthakarai village turned into a battlefield with clashes between protesters and police.

Slamming the police action, PMANE had yesterday launched a 48-hour relay fast against it.

A cameraperson of an English TV channel allegedly suffered injuries on the forehead during the melee in the police action. Channel authorities said a complaint has been lodged at the police station here.

Tirunelveli District Superintendent of Police V Bidari promised strong action by identifying the personnel involved in the alleged assault on the cameraperson.

Asked about reports of four PMANE leaders, including Udhayakumar and Pushparayan, planning to surrender by turning up at the Kudankulam Police Station, Bidari said police are searching for the four and they would be taken into custody anytime.

They had instigated the violence, he said.

There has been no untoward incidents today, he said, adding, additional police personnel have been deployed.