Anti-KNPP activists continue fast



Kudankulam (TN): Police and paramilitary personnel maintained strict vigil as tension prevailed at Idinthakarai, the epicentre of the stir against Kudankulam nuclear power plant, with anti-nuclear agitators continuing their indefinite fast on Wednesday protesting the state Cabinet's decision to go ahead with the project.

Police and paramilitary personnel were deployed in strength in areas around here as security has been stepped up after Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced the Cabinet's decision to go ahead with the project on Monday.

Criticising the police action, including arrest of 10 activists, SP Udayakumar, convener of the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy, spearheading the stir and observing the fast, said they were all prepared to be arrested.

"If police want to arrest us, let them arrest all of us here. All of us here are overstepping the law, so let them arrest all of us. It is not appropriate to arrest one or two of us. We are all prepared to be arrested," he told reporters.

Officials denied reports that supply of milk and vegetables to some villages in the area had been stopped.

Media personnel were stopped from venturing into Idinthakarai earlier in the day, but were later allowed.

Work at the Kudankulam nuclear plant was at a standstill following eight month-long protests by locals spearheaded by PMANE.

After the state Cabinet gave its nod on Monday, work at the Indo-Russian nuclear project started in full swing with officials expressing hope that the first unit would be commissioned "as soon as possible".

Prohibitory orders imposed in the area since Monday are still in force and over 32 battalions of Tamil Nadu Special Police, four companies of Rapid Action Force of the Central Industrial Security Force deployed.

PTI