Former HC CJ to highlight Kudankulam issue at NHRC



Chennai: Former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court Ajit Prakash Shah on Monday said he would take steps to raise the "Kudankulam protestors' issue" to the National Human Rights Commission.

"I will take steps to take the Kudankulam protestors issue to the National Human Rights Commission...You (state government) cannot file sedition charges against people for protesting against nuclear energy," Shah told reporters here.

"I am surprised that the State Human Rights Commission (in Tamil Nadu) has not taken it up," he said.

Justice Shah was presiding over a public hearing on the controversial Kudankulam nuclear plant issue, in which over 70,000 anti-nuclear protesters are agitating against the Indo-Russian nuclear collaboration in Tirunelveli district.

"It is high time that the state government and the protestors change their positions and sit for a dialogue."

Criticising a top intelligence official for allegedly warning a university in Tirunelveli against conducting a debate on the issue, he said, "When the country is celebrating 60 years of Parliament, intelligence agencies are interfering in academics and tell them what all they should discuss."

Asked which party should make the first move, he said, "If there is willingness among the NGOs, then the (state) government should have a word with them." Brushing aside scientists' contention that the nuclear plant in Kudankulam has zero per cent chance of meeting with an accident, Justice Shah said, it was "too tall a claim."

The public hearing was organised by Chennai Solidarity Group for Kudankulam Struggle.

PTI