Thursday, 2 February 2012

Anti nuclear protestors attacked at TIRUNELVELI: South India

Feb 01, 2012 at 07:48am IST
Anti-KKNPP ativists attacked
Express News Service

TIRUNELVELI: Tension gripped areas around the Collectorate here on Tuesday following an attack on anti-Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant Project (KKNPP) protestors.
The vehicle of the protestors was also damaged in the attack. As many as 14 members of the Hindu Munnani were arrested in connection with the incident. The fourth round of talks between the Central Expert Committee and the nominees of the State panel from the anti-KKNPP protest committee, was scheduled for 11 am. Led by convener A E Muthunayagam, the Central panel arrived at the Collectorate before the scheduled time.

Meanwhile, Hindu Munnani state vice president V P Jayakumar, who was accompanied by his outfit members, was addressing journalists in front of the Collectorate. This was when anti-KKNPP protest leaders Pushparayan, M P Jesuraj and the PMANE’s S P Udayakumar, arrived at the spot in a vehicle. As they were entering through the second gate, Hindu Munnani men rushed towards their vehicle and pelted stones at it in the presence of the police. A contingent of anti-KKNPP protestors, most of them women, who subsequently arrived in another vehicle, fought off the Hindu Munnai men, with some hurling footwear, and chased them away. A few Hindu Munnani members, who stayed back, and the anti-KKNPP activists were engaged in a scuffle, when the police managed to separate them. As the situation continued to be tense, more cops arrived to control the situation at the collectorate.
According to CoP Karunasagar, the anti-KKNPP protestors came in through the second gate instead of the first gate. This led to a minor problem, he said.
‘Bid On Our Lives to Break K-Stir’

Alleging that the attack on the anti-KKNPP activists at the Collectorate on Tuesday was an attempt on their lives meant to end the anti-KKNPP protest, Udayakumar said, “We will continue our protest until the KKNPP is shut down.” Three women protesters-Leela, Milread and Vijayapathi panchayat ward member Initha were attacked, he said.

“A compliant was given to the Tirunelveli police. Though cops were present at the Collectorate, they were overpowered by the attackers. As we had no security, the protest committee nominees of our State panel did not meet the Central Panel,” he added.
Further, the PMANE leader said the Central Expert Committee members, who had not invited them for talks, was yet to give them the documents regarding the Koodankulam Plant, including the detailed project report and site evaluation study. Calling the Central Expert Committee a ‘joke’, Udayakumar said the panel members were yet to meet the people living in a 30 km radius of the K-plant.
“We had no faith in the Centre or the Central Expert Committee,” he said. “We will not come to next round of talks, if the Central Expert Committee or the Centre invites us.” However, “if the State government invites us, we will come,” he added.

Prior Info on Attack
Anti-KKNPP protest committee member M Pushparayan indicated that they got prior information about the attack. “Based on prior information about the attack, we came with other protesters in two vehicles,” he said. “We also informed the Collector’s PA, who told us that police would be deployed at the spot.”

Lawyers hold demo
Tiruchirapalli | Wednesday, Feb 1 2012 IST

A section of lawyers, owing allegiance to the members of the anti-nuke protestors, led by J Kennedy staged a demonstration in front of court complex here today. The demonstration was to protest the attack against the Anti-Koodankulam activists by Hindu Munnani activists at Tirunelveli Collectorate yesterday. They also wanted suitable action against the erring Hindu Munnani activists.

Attack on PMANE a conspiracy, claims anti-nuclear group
Tirunelveli | Wednesday, Feb 1 2012 IST

The attack on the activists of People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE),spearheading a non-violent movement against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP), before the District Collector's Office yesterday by an outfit was a conspiracy to create tension and turn the movement violent, an anti-nuclear support group alleged. In a fax message to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and Indian National Congress Office, a copy of which was released to media here today, Mr N Subramanian, Convener of Koodankulam Anti-Nuclear Protest Support Group, Kerala (an umbrella organization of various anti-Nuke organizations of Kerala) said the representatives of PMANE and 20 women accompanying them 'were attacked by hired thugs inside the Tirunelveli Collectorate' compound when they were on way to attend the fourth round of talks with the Central Expert Committee. The women, who tried to shield the PMANE representatives, were also beaten up. Along with the thugs were local Congress leaders also, he alleged. 'The police were mute spectators when the attack was staged against the PMANE representatives,' he alleged.

People’s Union for Civil Liberties
Press statement                                                                                                                                                   February 1, 2012


People’s Union for Civil Liberties is shocked at the incidence of brutal violence, on 31-1-2012, at Tirunelveli, against people’s representatives of PMANE (People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy), including twenty women, opposing the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP), by  democratic and peaceful means, to preserve their right to life, livelihood and safe environment. The attack was reportedly carried out by local thugs, members of Hindu Munnani and the local Congress. It occurred just prior to a scheduled fourth meeting between representatives of PMANE and members of the Central Government Expert Panel on KKNPP.
What makes this attack particularly vile and reprehensible, is that it occurred in the premises of Tirunelveli Collectorate, while the collector was present in his chambers, and in presence of police force, thereby making both effectively complicit to this attack.
PUCL condemns all forms of violence, in particular, violence which scuttle democratic processes by the State, in a variety of ways, especially by the use of violence – direct, sponsored or tacitly supported.

PUCL demands strictest action to be taken against all individuals and groups charged with direct violence.  Disciplinary action must also be taken against all police officers present, who, in a dereliction of duty, did not sufficiently safeguard PMANE members from physical harm against hooliganism on government premises. District Collector , R Selvaraj, as the Chief Executive of the District Administration, must accept final responsibility for this grievous incidence, occurring within his jurisdiction and in his office premises.
Pushkar Raj
General Secretary, PUCL
PUCL National Office:
270-A, Ground Floor, Patpar Ganj, Mayur Vihar-I, Delhi-110091
Ph. 011-22750014, 09810656100