Friday, 22 April 2011

Police fire on anti-nuclear protestors at Jaitapur, India

Statement Against Police firing on Protestors in Jaitapur, Maharashtra
New Delhi, Dt. 19th April, 2011

We, the undersigned individuals and organizations condemn the Maharashtra Police firing on protestors who were demonstrating against the proposed Nuclear Power Park at Jaitapur, Ratnagiri, Maharashtra.

The corrupting influence of the nuclear companies over the political parties has been revealed in the Indo-US nuclear deal. These are the same political players who had played dubious roles during struggle against Enron power plant.

This incident happened at the protest which was organized against the Union Environment Minister’s statement saying, come what may the Nuclear Park will be built in Jaitapur and Prime Minister’s consistent
advocacy for nuclear energy unmindful of the tragic incident in Japan.

In the police firing on 18th April, 2011, one person died and 8 others were seriously injured. This firing should not be seen in isolation.

For the past one year, the government of Maharashtra has unleashed a reign of terror in the entire Jaitapur area against farmers, fishing folks and other rural artisans who have launched a non-violent and
protracted democratic struggle against snatching away of their land, livelihood and the imminent catastrophe from the proposed Nuclear Power Park.

We oppose any forcible acquisition of land against the wishes of the local farmers.

The high-handedness of Maharashtra State Government has been evident for the last four years. A local Konkani activist Vaishali Patil and even other prominent Konkan and Maharashtra residents like Retd.

Admiral L. Ramdas and Retd. Supreme Court Justice P B Sawant were arbitrarily declared out of bounds from Ratnagiri District. This is a flagrant violation of democratic rights. This is clear example of stamping out the right to protest which is one of the sacrosanct constitutional rights in the country. It should be noted that Mr. Narayan Rane, the State Revenue Minister who also hails from the Konkan region has been going around Jaitapur area and threatening everyone who protests against the proposed Nuclear Power Park. Mr.
Rane has also openly given a call to local Indian National Congress cadres to forcibly drive out the activists who are protesting against the Nuclear Power Park.

We are seriously concerned about Shiv Sena’s role in provoking the tragic incident. Motivated hooliganism and strong arm tactics of Shiv Sena is a well known phenomena which often dissipates the possibility of peaceful democratic protests. This provides the logic to the administration for Police repression and vilifying peaceful mass protests. Shiv Sena’s opportunism in the Anti- Enron Struggle in the 1990s is well known.

We disapprove of such rank opportunism of these political outfits which attempts to divert the studied pace and direction of the ongoing struggle against the Nuclear Power Park in the Ratnagiri district.

The people of Jaitapur are carrying out peaceful struggle against the proposed Nuclear Power Park for the past 4 years, but Congress Party’s partisan role and Shiv Sena’s unwarranted entry into the struggle has vitiated the atmosphere.

In the aftermath of the nuclear accidents in Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima, a stark rationale for the abandonment of nuclear energy has emerged. In a situation where admittedly public health infrastructure is non-existent to deal with the inevitable event of nuclear emergency, promotion of nuclear commerce cannot be approved. We disapprove of nuclear energy in such a context where countries after countries are abandoning or doing a rethink about this option.

Therefore, we demand

* Scrapping of the proposed nuclear plant in the Ratnagiri district and other states in the country

* Judicial Enquiry into the incident of police firing on 18th April

* Strong action against the district officials and the Police officers who ordered the police firing on the protesters

* Immediately withdraw the false cases against the activists, the villagers and rescind the externment orders

Several citizens groups and people’s organizations will be demonstrating against the police firing and the myopic promotion of nuclear energy on 21st April at 11.30 AM at Jantar Mantar.

Endorsed by


National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements (NAPM)
Popular Education and Action Centre (PEACE)
Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF)
Coalition on Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP)
Delhi Forum
Programme for Social Action (PSA)


Aruna Roy & Nikhil Dey, MKSS
Rajendra Ravi, IDS
Chittaranjan Singh, INSAF/ PUCL
Anil Chaudhary
Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance
Kiran Shaheen, Media Action Group
Susan Abraham, FORRAD
Prakash K. Ray,
P T George, Intercultural Resources
Benny Kuruvilla, Focus on the Global South
Preeti Sampat
Prem Piram, JAGAR
Amit Mahanti, Frame Works Research & Media Collective
Asit, Delhi Platform
Shree Prakash, MISAAL
Sandeep Singh, AISA
Wilfred D’ Costa
Soumya Dutta, Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha
Priya Pillai, Greenpeace
Sundaram P
Prafull Bidwai, CNDP
Kavita Krishnan, Central Committee Member, CPI (ML) Liberation
Mona Das
S. Lahiri, NFFPFW
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Nuclear concerns after Japan earthquake

 By Deborah McGurran  Political editor, BBC East  16 April 2011

A major disaster at Sizewell could see radiation hitting a wide area of Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex.
New concerns over nuclear energy in the East of England have been raised in the wake of the disasters which struck the power stations in Japan.

The devastating earthquake struck Japan on 11 March.
It left the nuclear reactors at Fukushima with no electricity.
An hour later the tsunami wiped out the back-up diesel generators.
The cooling system failed which caused the first of several explosions and radiation leaks.
EDF Energy, the UK's largest nuclear operator, which runs Sizewell in Suffolk, is keen to show that it could not happen in England.

The back-up systems for the pressurised water reactor at Sizewell include four separate diesel generators, which would be used if the electricity failed.
There is a 10m (33ft) barrier for sea defences, with a 5m (16ft) metre barrier behind it.
If the sea could no longer be used for Sizewell's cooling system there are two huge "car radiators" to take the heat away.

The Japanese government has placed a 20km (12 mile)exclusion zone around Fukushima.“
There is a 30km (19 mile) stay-indoors zone around Fukushima but the United States exclusion zone is 80km (50 miles).

Stop Nuclear Power has superimposed these over East Anglia to show how far they would reach if there was a disaster here.  The American zone would extend from Cromer in Norfolk to beyond Colchester in Essex.

Mell Harrison, from Stop Nuclear Power UK, said she believed the back-up plans were not good enough.
This week she joined protests outside EDF's headquarters in London.

Protest camp
Next weekend she will be at a protest camp on the beach at Sizewell which will mark the 25th anniversary of Chernobyl.

She said: "When Fukushima first occurred people said there's no way it's going to be as bad as Chernobyl and now the level is the same.  "We're not going to know the full extent of it until the next generation and to me that's scary."

"Sizewell B, when they reopened after seven months, a little while later they closed down again for another few days.  "Now, we have the Freedom of Information on that accident and it says in there that it is still vulnerable.  "To me it says we need to shut them down and we need to shut them down as soon as possible."

Andy Spurr, one of the managing directors of EDF, said: "We will review our own operation but more importantly we'll review the lessons that came out of the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate's report as well and we may decide to put additional strength and depth in place.

"It's too early to talk about any of the details but I would describe it as, our minds are very open, in terms of looking and reviewing and learning."

The BBC Politics Show in the East is broadcast at 1400 GMT on Sunday