Koodankulam Speaks – Updates, Links, Photographs

This page streams press releases, letters, publications, updates, news bytes, videos, and photographs in relation to the anti-nuclear struggle in Idinthakarai, Koodankulam and the debate on nuclear energy around the world.

Some Sources: Chennai Solidarity Group, People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Economic and Political Weekly, Countercurrents, Down To Earth, Lokayat Pune, Dianuke, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Amirtharaj Stephen, Nityanand Jayaraman, Amudhan R P, Revathi R

Scroll down. Sometimes we add links at the end of the page and in between updates.

_________________________

Tamil Nadu Commissioner of Police
JK Tripathy: 9840094500
044-28555034 (Fax). Email — cop@vsnl.net
Collector, Tirunelveli, 9444185000
DIG, Tirunelveli, 91-9840970530
SP, Tirunelveli, 91-9940193494
DSP, Vallioor, 91-9443554585
Koodankulam Police, 91-4637-250150.

_________________________

31 October 2012

From

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Idinthakarai 627 104
Tirunelveli District
Tamil Nadu, India
Phone: 98656 83735; 9842154073
koodankulam@yahoo.com

To

The Heads of State/Government
c/o The Embassies (or) High Commissions
New Delhi
India

Your Excellency:

Greetings! We, several millions of people from the southernmost tip of India, are writing to you to seek your support for the peaceful and nonviolent struggle that we have been waging for almost a quarter century against the Koodankulam nuclear power project (KKNPP). We have intensified our struggle since August 2011 with indefinite hunger strikes, relay fasts, massive marches, siege protests and so on.

This mega nuclear power park is being built with Russian loan and technology against the will and wishes of the local people. The Indian authorities have not conducted any public hearing to seek our permission or consent for this project. They have not shared the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report, the Site Evaluation Report, and the Safety Analysis Report with our people. These reports are made available to the public on the internet in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. After a long and hard struggle of more than 22 years, we have just obtained a copy of the EIA report which is outdated and so full of inaccuracies and incomplete information.

As the Indian authorities unleash all kinds of atrocities on us such as dangerous cases (like sedition, waging war on the state etc.), imprisonment, curfew and prohibitory orders, intimidation campaigns, home searches, physical attacks on our persons and properties, police atrocities and other such high-handed behavior, we are forced to seek justice from the international community. After all, nuclear energy is a global issue and the effects of it cannot be restricted to any national borders or international boundaries.

The world knows fully well that nuclear power and bomb programs are the two sides of the same coin. And this is the reason why the international community objects to the development of nuclear power by certain countries and calls for the abolition of nuclear weapons altogether. In fact, Nuclearism has become a dangerous ideology that corrupts politics, threatens democracy, imperils freedom and endangers human existence on the Earth. Such a comprehensive humane global look at the world economy, politics and security makes the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) redundant. It is high time we abolished the IAEA that has a mission to, among other things, facilitate “the transfer of such technology and knowledge in a sustainable manner to developing Member States.”

Although the global nuclear industry tries to promote nuclear power as the answer for global warming and climate destruction, the international community knows for sure that poisoned Earth with nuclear waste cannot be the answer for polluted air. Moreover, our fragile planet has been facing natural calamities of all sorts with increasing frequency and added potency. And it would be foolhardy to add to our woes with nuclear threats and dangers.

We have no moral legitimacy whatsoever to produce electricity for our present needs and endanger the futures of our children and the unborn generations with the dangerous booty of nuclear waste, contaminated sites and deadly radiation. It is not only immoral but also illegal to help the profiteering MNCs, corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and technocrats make money at the cost of the Earth, the future inhabitants and their common futures.

When terrorism spreads all over the world like an epidemic and nuclear terrorism is fast becoming a dreadful reality, proliferation of nuclear weapons, promotion of nuclear technology and fostering of nuclear material will be suicidal. Science and technology are important tools for our progress and prosperity but when that quest shuns human values, moral principles and political ethos, we suffer from God-complex and dig our own graves.

Scores of countries around the world have chosen not to hoard fissile material, develop or test nuclear weapons, or build nuclear power plants. In fact, many countries that have relied heavily on nuclear power so far have decided to phase out. So let us make a solemn resolve here and now to build a new world that has no Uranium mines, no nuclear reactors, no waste dumps and no nuclear weapons.

Looking forward to your government’s and citizens’ support and solidarity for our anti-Koodankulam struggle and a nuclear-free world campaign, we send you our best personal regards and all peaceful wishes.

Cordially,

S. P. Udayakumar

M. Pushparayan

M. P. Jesuraj

Fr. F. Jayakumar

R.S. Muhilan

Peter Milton

30 October 2012

10:13 p.m.

Mr. Wieland Wagner was released from the Pazhavur police station at around 10 p.m. after having been detained and detained for nearly 5.30 hours, if I understood Mr. Wagner correctly. According to Mr. Wagner, his mobile phone was seized when the police picked him up, and he was prevented from making any phone calls to his magazine despite his requests. After completing his interviews in Idinthakarai, Mr. Wagner went to Koodankulam to visit the power plant and interview officials. He sought entry at the main gate by stating his intent to see the Visitor Centre and possibly interview officials. The guards at the gate obliged. At the second gate, he was stopped and told that he was not meant to be in there. The police then took him to Pazhavur Police Station, where he was interrogated. He was detained for more than 5 hours despite having displayed his press credentials to the police.

(Nityanand Jayaraman, Chennai Solidarity Group)

09:06 p.m.

This evening, Mr. Wieland Wagner, a reporter with German magazine Der Spiegel was picked up after he reportedly entered the Koodankulam nuclear power plant seeking an interview with officials. He was stopped after he went past the security at the first gate. Three police personnel who were manning the gates are reportedly under suspension. He is being interrogated in the Palavur Police Station.

(Nityanand Jayaraman, Chennai Solidarity Group)

Updates from Idinthakarai, Koodankulam. 09 October 2012

An Appeal to the Collector and the SP of Tirunelveli District!

October 6, 2012

The Coordinator
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Idinthakarai 627 104
Tirunelveli District

The District Collector &

The Superintendant of Police
Tirunelveli District
Tirunelveli 627 002Dear Sirs:Greetings! As you may probably know, we are holding a siege protest around the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) on the sea on October 8, 2012 with the following demands:
[1] Withdraw the police from all our villages;
[2] Release all our comrades who are in prison;
[3] Withdraw all the false cases against us; and
[4] Scrap the KKNPP and convert it into a people/Nature/future-friendly project.We plan to organize the protest 500 meters away from the KKNPP by laying buoys and placing our own fiber boats as the boundary. It would be a peaceful, nonviolent and democratic protest just like all our earlier programs over the past 415 days. We will not engage in any kind of violence against any individuals or private or public properties as we do not treat anyone as our enemy. We have always stuck to this principle and treated the government officials and police officers with respect. In fact, on September 9, 2012 our people offered water to the lady police officers when some of them fell ill and engaged in friendly conversation with the others. It was the police lathi charge on September 10, 2012 that caused all the havoc and mayhem.We would very much like to request you and other authorities to treat our people as responsible and mature Indian citizens with Constitutionally-guaranteed rights and entitlements. Such a positive approach and attitude on both sides will help us manage the siege protest peacefully without any untoward incidents.

With best personal regards to you both,

Cordially,

S. P. Udayakumar, Ph.D.

_________________________

(from Chennai Solidarity Group)

IF YOU HAVE A POST CARD TO SEND TO KOODANKULAM, NOW IS THE TIME!

A personal hand-written message on a postcard can go a long way in saying “We are there for you”. And in conflict-torn Koodankulam, this simple act can keep soaring morale from ever taking a plunge. With liberty being slowly extinguished under the pretext of national security, no debate on nuclear p

olicy can be possible in such a stifling atmosphere. Child “seditionists”, women “mobsters” and ageing “war-brewers” can all use a loving post-card as a sign of solidarity and coalition in peaceful protest against oppression, brutality and unwarranted violence.Please do pick up a card, pen a message in English or Tamil, and send it in by snail mail from any corner of the world toH16/9, Seevakan Street, Kalakshetra Colony, Besant Nagar,
Chennai, Tamilnadu, India -600 090All post cards will be collected and goodie-bagged to Koodankulam, Santa-Claus style!கூடங்குளத்தில் போராடும் மக்களுக்கு ஆதரவு செ_தி அனுப்ப எண்ணி_ள்ளீர்களா இதுவே சமயம்!உங்கள் கைப்பட ஒரு அஞ்சல் அட்டை_ல் ” உங்கள் போராட்டத்தில் நாங்களும் இணைந்திருக்கிறோம்”. என்ற செய்தி_ எழுதி அனுப்புவது, போராட்டத்தால் ஒடுக்கப்பட்டுவரும் கூடங்குளத்தின் மக்களுக்கு பெரும் நம்பிக்கை அளிக்கும். கூடங்குளம் மற்றும் சுற்றுப்புற பகுதிகளில், தேசிய பாதுகாப்பு என்ற பெயரில் சுதந்திரம் பறிக்கப்பட்டுக் கொண்டிருக்கும் சூழலில், அணுசக்தி கொள்கைகள் பற்றிய எந்த ஆரோக்கி_மான விவாதமும் நடக்க முடியாது. தேசத்திற்கு துரோகம் செ_த குழந்தைகள் , கலகம் செ__ம் பெண்கள், போரைத் தூண்டிவிடும் முதி_வர்கள் என அனைவருக்கும் இந்தஅஞ்சல் அட்டை நமது ஆதரவின் அடையாளமாகவும், அடக்குமுறைக்கு எதிரான அமைதி__ன போராட்டத்திற்கான நம்மால் இ_ன்ற பங்களிப்பாகவும் திகழும்.ஒரு அஞ்சல் அட்டையை கையில் எடுத்து, மனதில் படும் செய்தியை தமிழ் அல்லது ஆங்கிலத்தில் எழுதி, எங்கிருந்தாலும் தபால் மூலம் கீழ்கண்ட முகவரிக்கு அனுப்பவும்

H16/9, சீவகன் தெரு, கலாக்ஷேத்ரா காலனி, பெசன்ட் நகர், சென்னை – 600090

குவியும் எல்லா அட்டைகளும் சேகரிக்கப்பட்டு கிறிஸ்துமஸ்-தாத்தா பரிசளிக்கும் பாணியில் கூடங்குளத்துக்கு அனுப்பி வைக்கப்படும்

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“to fight for our future without nukes together”: Joint Letter from three Japanese anti-nuclear activists

A Historic movement is underway in Tamil Nadu State against Koodankulam nuclear power station. People across the world are moved by the resistance and want to express solidarity. We tried to visit India to show our solidarity on September 25 but were denied access at Chennai airport. After an hour-long interrogation, we had our paper written as “Inadmissible person” ,which denied our entrance to India. It is unforgivable for the government, which invites countless nuclear merchants from Western countries, to deny such small citizens like us. We are writing this letter because we would like you to know what we experienced.

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Desirability of nuclear power is the real question. Madhushree Dutta. The Hindu. 27 September 2012.

[http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/desirability-of-nuclear-power-is-the-real-question/article3939373.ece?homepage=true]

A few days ago, The Hindu carried an article titled “The real questions from Kudankulam” (editorial page, Sept. 14, 2012). Incidentally, it was published a few days after the brutal crackdown by the Tamil Nadu police on the protesting fisherfolk who have been opposing the siting of a nuclear power plant in their midst for over two decades now. The author of the article, a physicist with a reputed scientific research institution, questioned the agency of the protesting fisherfolk by bracketing them as “victims only of unfounded scaremongering” who were purportedly being misled by “educated purveyors.” The article claimed that the debate around Kudankulam has not been a “genuine” one and has been in abstraction, mostly around the “desirability of nuclear power” rather than “mechanisms” to make it safe. The claim being modern technology, maintenance and safety standards will make it “safe.” Notwithstanding of course the ideal scientifically “controlled” conditions vs ground realities. If one looks at the dubious track record of nuclear power plants across the world and its horrendous reputation of regularly exposing its workers and residents to dangerous levels of ionising radiations, the disconnect is pretty obvious.

In 1957, a fault in the cooling system in Kyshtym nuclear complex in Russia led to a chemical explosion and the release of 70-80 tonnes of radioactive material into the air, exposing thousands of people and leading to the evacuation of thousands more. Major accidents, which have killed, maimed and exposed large populations of worker and local residents, have been reported from various other nuclear facilities — Windscale nuclear reactor, U.K. (1957); Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, U.S. (1961); Three Mile Island power plant, U.S. (1979); Chernobyl power plant, Russia (1986); Seversk, Russia (1993); the Tokai-Mura nuclear fuel processing facility, Japan (1989); Mihama power plant, Japan (2004); Fukushima Daiichi power plant, Japan (2011) and the Marcoule nuclear site, France (2011). All these incidents and many more unreported ones including from India have obviously raised questions about the desirability of nuclear energy and any real possibility of it being “safe.” While environmental and health risks of radiation are now scientifically known, the magnitude of the impact of accidents such as a Fukushima or Chernobyl takes a long time to play out in a real world situation. The fact that in each of these places people have not been able to return to their homes, that their lives have never been normal again, and that they constantly live under the shadow of diseases and death makes nuclear energy patently dangerous.

And on top of it, the obtuseness of governments to disclose information related to nuclear, civilian or military, makes it even worse. Take for instance the confession by the Japanese government in June 2012 that it had withheld from the public important radiation maps provided by the U.S. Energy Department post-Fukushima. The information revealed that residents in an area northwest of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant were being exposed to their annual permissible dose of radiation within eight hours. This meant that these residents were not evacuated by the government to a safer place, an act that can be termed criminal.

In France, over 20,000-30,000 workers dubbed as “nuclear nomads” are subcontracted annually in the 58 nuclear reactors operated by Électricité de France S.A. (EDF) located in 20 sites which contribute 78 per cent of the electricity produced in the country. EDF subcontracts over 1,000 companies, who employ the “nuclear nomads,” sometimes of foreign origin, to do the dangerous maintenance, repair and clean-up work in these plants, exposing them to ionising radiations. In her book “Nuclear Servitude: Subcontracting and Health in the French Civil Nuclear Industry,” French social scientist Annie Thébaud-Mony has highlighted this division of labour and “risk” by subcontracting dangerous work in the French nuclear power industry. In the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, over 18,000 workers were hired to clean-up the power plant, who were all subcontracted to do dangerous radioactive clean-up work. These men, hailed as “national heroes” by many, were actually local residents rendered unemployed by the disaster or were daily wagers from city slums. Since the 1970s, Japan has had a dubious track record of subcontracting maintenance work of reactors to outside companies which hire workers on a short-term basis who remain employed till they reach their radiation exposure limit (Nuclear Nomads: A look at the Sub-contracted Heroesby Gabrielle Hecht in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, January 9, 2012).

In the case of Kudankulam, the fisherfolk have been raising similar questions. They have been asking to see the disaster management plan which, till date, remains a secret, even under the Right to Information Act. Given the inherent uncertainties of natural disasters, questions about preparedness to mitigate impact of calamities such as tsunami waves of higher magnitude are being asked. An inadequate reserve of fresh water for cooling as well as a lack of back up electricity are concerns that have been raised by people and their expert committee many times but consistently dodged by the government and officials of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. Secrecy shrouds the fate of the radioactive spent fuel, its reprocessing and transportation. All these questions and more remain unanswered. Are all these issues a debate in abstraction? Is questioning the “desirability” of nuclear power not a valid one given the above track record? If this is not concrete, what is?

(Madhumita Dutta is with the Vettiver Collective in Chennai and a volunteer with the Chennai Solidarity Group for Kudankulam Struggle.)

Rahul Siddharthan responds. Debate @ The Hindu. 27 September 2012. 

[http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/rahul-siddharthan-responds/article3939374.ece]

Madhumita Dutta claims that nuclear power has a “horrendous” reputation, and lists nine accidents that “killed, maimed and exposed large populations of worker and local residents.”

Nine accidents in a half-century seem a respectable record for an industry, but nuclear power must, of course, operate to higher standards than other industries. Of these nine, only one — Chernobyl — qualifies as “horrific.” As noted in my earlier article, nobody died from radiation exposure in Fukushima. In Idaho (1961) and Mihama (2004) there were fatalities but no radiation leakage. In Windscale (1957) and Three Mile Island (1979) there was significant radiation leakage but no immediate fatalities, and the epidemiology of radiation-induced cancers is not very clear. In Seversk (1993) there were no fatalities and only a mild leakage of radiation. In Tokaimura (1999, not 1989) there were two fatalities and radiation leakage but no known after-effects. In both Seversk and Tokai-Mura, the level of exposure for nearby people was a few tens of millisieverts at most: about three-four times more than what one would receive in a CAT scan. And Marcoule (2011) was not a nuclear accident at all.

Clearly some people find the record of nuclear power terrifying, but I am not one of them.

Ms Dutta’s points about the necessity of transparency and availability of information are valid, and I made those points myself. It is in the Department of Atomic Energy’s own interest to make as much information available about Kudankulam as possible. And I reiterate the necessity of an independent Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority with real powers. I intend to explore these issues in a later article.

(Rahul Siddharthan is with the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai.)

Undeclared Emergency in Kudankulam?. The Hindu. Chennai. 27 September 2012. 

[http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/tamil-nadu/undeclared-emergency-in-idinthakarai/article3939335.ece]

An independent fact-finding team that investigated the September 10 police crackdown on agitators protesting against the fuel loading in the nuclear plant at Kudankulam has flayed the police for various excesses, including abusive behaviour toward womenfolk, slapping sedition charges on young children and driving a wedge between religious communities in a bid to weaken the movement.

Addressing a press conference, leaders of the Chennai Solidarity Group for Koodankulam Struggle, demanded the restoration of democracy and free expression in Idinthakarai, action against policemen responsible for the atrocities on those carrying out a peaceful agitation and negotiations by the government to resolve the over a year-long stir against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project.

B. G. Kolse Patil, former Judge of the Bombay High Court and chair of the fact-finding team, who joined the conference via video-conferencing, said an undeclared state of Emergency in which all Constitutional rights of the villagers were suspended prevailed in Idinthakari.

The police had unleashed a reign of terror and had randomly arrested protestors, including children against whom sedition charges had been slapped with the sole purpose of denying them bail, he said.

The team urged the Central and State governments, the Supreme Court, the National and State Human Rights Commissions and the public at large in Tamil Nadu and across the world, to rally against the subversion of human rights and the consigning of people as guinea pigs in a nuclear exercise.

The three-member fact-finding team, also comprising Mumbai-based writer Kalpana Sharma and Tamil writer Joe D’Cruz, had compiled the report after gathering evidence during a two-day visit last week to Kudankulam, Idinthakarai, Tsunami Colony and the Juvenile Home in Palayamkottai.

The report states that the findings “raise a matter of great gravity, given that they endorse widespread reports about violence against women, children and the elderly by police.”

The actions of the police also include acts of looting and damage to public and private property and open intimidation and IPC sections like 124A (sedition), 121A (waging war) had been “irrationally” used to charge those arrested on September 10.

“Most importantly, they represent acts of illegality that cannot be challenged by the victims as the perpetrators of the crimes are the police themselves.”

Mr. D’Cruz rubbished police claims that protestors sought to damage the nuclear plant and said that causing any kind of damage would be the last thing to do as the fear of nuclear threat was at the core of the agitation.

Activists also justified using women and children in the vanguard of the protests claiming that this was “an expression of peaceful agitation” and to deter men from resorting to violence even under police provocation.

Krishna Iyer’s support

Meanwhile, jurist V. R. Krishna Iyer has expressed solidarity with the anti-Kudankulam protestors and condemned the police atrocities.

“I support the report being released….Our Republic cannot be Police Raj,” Mr. Krishna Iyer said in his e-mail to the leaders of the stir.

In another signed statement, Justices P.B. Sawant, A.P. Shah and Rajinder Sachar joined Justice Kolse Patil in appealing to the highest authorities to “take note of the very serious situation prevailing in Tamil Nadu, and take steps to restore normalcy to the region and the dignity to the affected people.”

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Are you going to Kudankulam? Bela Bhatia. Agency: DNA. Thursday, September 27, 2012 [http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/column_are-you-going-to-kudankulam_1745780]

On Tuesday this week, three Japanese visitors who are part of the anti-nuclear movement in Japan were refused entry to India and deported on arrival at Chennai. Reading the account sent by them from Kuala Lumpur makes for not-exactly-pleasant reading.
“When we got off the plane and approached the immigration counter, one personnel came to us smiling… [and took] us to the immigration office. [There were more than five personnel there.] … one asked me [Yoko Unoda] whether I am a member of No Nukes Asia Forum Japan. ‘You signed the international petition on Kudankulam, didn’t you?’ … another person asked, ‘Mr Watarida … he is involved in the anti-nuclear movement in Kaminoseki, right?’‘Are you going to Kudankulam? Who invited you all? … Who will pick you up at Tuticorin airport? [they had a copy of the itinerary of the domestic flight] Tell me their names. Tell me their telephone numbers. Will you join the agitation?’ They asked many questions and surprisingly, they knew our names. I felt scared. I felt something wrong would happen to you. So I didn’t answer anything. Mr [Masahiro] Watarida and Mr [Shinsuke] Nakai also refused to answer.At first they talked in a friendly manner. They told us that we can enter India if we gave them information about the movement in Kudankulam. But gradually they got irritated. [After] .. more than one hour … they said ‘Answer within five minutes, otherwise you will be deported.’ We answered …but they didn’t get satisfied with our answer. …We were taken to the Air Asia air plane and it took off immediately.”This is a telling statement about our democracy. So, only certain kinds of imports are allowed. A harmful technology that more advanced nations like Germany are pulling out of is allowed. The French Areva and its 18 billion euros to fund the EPRs (European Pressurized Reactors) in Jaitapur, a dangerous and expensive experiment to say the least (these will cost many times more than the indigenous reactors that have been used in India so far and pose unforeseen hazards since it is untried technology) are allowed. The scientists and other advocates of nuclear energy are allowed.Allowed, so unquestioningly that hundreds of policemen are deployed to wield their lathis on a peacefully protesting people, thousands can find false cases slapped on them, and non-bailable arrest warrants can be issued against their leaders.

Their crime? Saying ‘No’ to the violence of a technology that represents “poisonous development” to them. It is a sad day for India when activists of a movement like PMANE (Peoples’ Movement Against Nuclear Energy) that has used non-violent and democratic means of struggle for the last three decades are forced to go underground.

So let’s get this straight. What are Indian citizens supposed to do? Are we supposed to, with quiet acquiescence, only say “yes”.Yes to plunder and loot of natural resources; yes to dehumanising poverty and growing inequalities despite national “growth”; yes to endemic corruption; yes to intimidation and strong arm tactics; yes to fabrication of charges and ignominy of faceless undertrials; yes to the definitions that the State imposes on us – of what construes “development”, “national”, “public-interest”, “legal”, “democracy”? When law is misused by a legal authority — authoritatively — such an “authority” makes you shudder.

Perhaps the government should be reminded of the long history of another kind of “globalisation” that has existed between peoples of the world. To give one example, Buddhism travelled to Japan and is today more embedded in Japan than in India.Knowledge knows no borders. Nuclear-related mistakes made by one government need not be repeated by another. In this respect, the experience of the people of Japan – regarding nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants – is unparalleled.

The three activists were going to visit India for only a few days. They had hoped to avail of the tourist visa on arrival to visit the “temples of modern India”. They came in solidarity, good will and peace. Neither they nor their friends in India had imagined that being “anti-nuclear” would be seen as a threat by the Indian government.

Kaminoseki and Kudankulam are two struggles that started at roughly the same time. The fisher-folk and farmers of Kaminoseki have been protesting the proposed Kaminoseki nuclear power plant arguing that their present way of life was harmonious with nature and that they did not want the “development” that the nuclear power plant offered, especially with its concomitant dangers. The struggle of the people of Kaminoseki and Kudankulam is a struggle for determining a way of life – a different kind of self-determination.

People in many parts of the world today have enough evidence at their command to come to the conclusion that there can be no “peaceful” use of a technology that has seeds of destruction and annihilation. I am not a member of the No Nukes Asia Forum. But I will soon be. And am I going to Kudankulam?Definitely. Coming?

Bela Bhatia is honorary professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

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கூடங்குளத்தில் அறிவிக்கப்படாத அவசரநிலை: ஓய்வுபெற்ற நீதிபதி கோல்செ பாட்டீல் கருத்து. Dinamani. 27 September 2012. 

சென்னை, செப். 26: அரசியலமைப்புச் சட்ட உரிமைப்படி கூடங்குளத்தில் கூட்டம் கூட்டி எதிர்ப்பு தெரிவித்து வந்த மக்கள் மீது போலீஸôர் நடத்தி வரும் தாக்குதல்கள் அங்கு அறிவிக்கப்படாத அவசரநிலை அமல்படுத்தப்பட்டிருப்பதையே காட்டுகிறது என மும்பை உயர் நீதிமன்ற முன்னாள் நீதிபதி பி.ஜி. கோல்செ பாட்டீல் கூறினார்.

கூடங்குளம் அணு மின் நிலையத்தில் அணு உலைகளில் எரிபொருள் நிரப்புவதற்கு எதிர்ப்பு தெரிவித்து போராட்டம் நடத்துவதற்காக கடந்த 10 மற்றும் 11-ம் தேதிகளில் அப்பகுதி மக்கள் கூடங்குளத்தில் திரண்டபோது, போலீஸôர் கண்ணீர்ப் புகை குண்டுகளை வீசியும், தடியடி நடத்தியும் அவர்களை கலைத்தனர்.

இந்த விவகாரம் குறித்தும், உண்மையில் அங்கு என்ன நடக்கிறது என்பதை அறியும் வகையிலும் பல்வேறு சமூக அமைப்புகள் இணைந்து உண்மை அறியும் குழு ஒன்றை அமைத்து அங்கு அனுப்பியது.

இந்தக் குழுவில் மும்பை, புணே உயர் நீதிமன்ற முன்னாள் நீதிபதி பி.ஜி. கோல்செ பாட்டீல், மும்பையைச் சேர்ந்த மூத்த பத்திரிகையாளர் கல்பனா ஷர்மா, சென்னையைச் சேர்ந்த எழுத்தாளர் ஆர்.என். ஜோ டி குரூஸ் ஆகியோர் இடம்பெற்றிருந்தனர்.

இந்த குழு செப்டம்பர் 20, 21 தேதிகளில் இடிந்தகரை, சுனாமி காலனி, வைராவிகிணறு, கூடங்குளம் சிறார் காப்பகம், பாளையங்கோட்டை உள்ளிட்ட பகுதிகளுக்குச் சென்று போலீஸ் தாக்குதலில் பாதிக்கப்பட்ட மக்களை சந்தித்து பல்வேறு தகவல்களை சேகரித்துள்ளனர்.

இதுகுறித்து உண்மை அறியும் குழுவில் இடம்பெற்றிருந்த எழுத்தாளர் ஆர். என். ஜோ டி குரூஸ் சென்னையில் புதன்கிழமை பத்திரிகையாளர்களுக்கு பேட்டியளித்தார். அப்போது விடியோ கான்ஃபரன்சிங் முறையில் நீதிபதி கோல்செ பாட்டீல் பேசியது: ஜனநாயக நாட்டில் அரசியலமைப்புச் சட்டத்தின்படி கூட்டம் கூட்டவும், எதிர்ப்பு தெரிவித்து போராட்டம் நடத்தவும் மக்களுக்கு உரிமை உள்ளது. ஆனால், கூடங்குளத்தில் மக்களிடம் இந்த உரிமை பறிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.

போலீஸôர் மக்கள் மீது அத்துமீறிய தாக்குதலை நடத்தியுள்ளனர். எந்தவித எச்சரிக்கையையும் கொடுக்காமல் போலீஸôர் துப்பாக்கிச் சூடும், கண்ணீர் புகை குண்டுகளையும் வீசியுள்ளனர். இது அப்பகுதியில் அறிவிக்கப்படாத அவசர நிலை அமல்படுத்தப்பட்டிருப்பதையே காட்டுகிறது. மத்திய, மாநில அரசுகள் அப்பாவி மக்கள் மீது இதுபோன்ற தாக்குதல்கள் நடத்துவதை உடனடியாக நிறுத்திவிட்டு, அவர்களுடைய அச்சத்தைப் போக்கி சுமுக தீர்வு எட்டுவதற்கான முயற்சியை எடுக்க வேண்டும் என்றார்.

விடியோ கான்ஃபரன்ஸ் முறையில் பத்திரிகையாளர் கல்பனா ஷர்மா அளித்த பேட்டி: போராட்டத்தைக் காரணம் காட்டி முதியவர்கள் மீது மட்டுமன்றி 4 சிறுவர்கள் மீதும் எந்தவித நியாயமும் இன்றி 124ஏ (தேசதுரோகச் சட்டம்), 121ஏ (அரசுக்கு எதிராக போர் செய்வது) உள்ளிட்ட பிரிவுகளின் கீழ் வழக்குகளை போலீஸôர் பதிவு செய்துள்ளனர். இந்த சம்பவத்தின்போது ஊருக்குள் நுழைந்த போலீஸôர் பெண்களிடம் தரக் குறைவான, பாலியல் ரீதியான வார்த்தைகளை பயன்படுத்தி பேசியிருப்பதாகவும் பல பெண்கள் தெரிவித்தனர் என்றார் கல்பனா ஷர்மா.

அப்பகுதி மக்களிடையே எப்போதும் பதற்ற நிலையை ஏற்படுத்தி, அந்த ஊரிலிருந்தே வெளியேற்றும் நடவடிக்கைகளில் போலீஸôர் ஈடுபட்டு வருகின்றனர். இடிந்தகரை பகுதியிலுள்ள சுனாமி காலனிக்குச் சென்றபோது, சம்பவத்தின்போது அங்குள்ள வீடுகளையும், வீட்டுப் பொருள்களையும் போலீஸôர் சேதப்படுத்தினர் என வெளிவந்த பத்திரிகை செய்திகள் அனைத்தும் உண்மைதான் என்பதை உணரமுடிந்தது என எழுத்தாளர் ஜோ டி குரூஸ் கூறினார்.

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Violence Against the Non-Violence Struggle in Koodankulam. S Senthalir. EPW. 29 September 2012

[https://chaikadai.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/violence_against_the_nonviolent_struggle_of_koodankulam-s-senthalir-epw-29-september-2012.pdf]

All democratic means of resolving the issue have been cast aside. The government has preferred to use the police, paramilitary and the coast guard over dialogue to deal with the protest of unarmed civilians in all ways possible through land, air and water. Inside the village, policemen went a step further to hurt people’s sentiments and provoke them by desecrating the statue of Mother Mary in St Lourdes Matha Church, which has been the epicentre of the protests.

The demands of the people to discuss issues on commissioning the nuclear plant were not heeded by either the government or the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) officials. When the ultimatum given by the people was not considered, the villagers went on to peacefully lay siege to the nuclear plant on 9 September. 

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Stop Kudankulam fuelling, lives are at stake! Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan. 24 September 2012. DNA – [The author is a past chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board]

The government, through its Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), the Nuclear Power Corporation Limited (NPCIL), and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) is racing to bring the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, Unit-1 (KNPP-1) to full-power operation at the earliest. The questions predominantly troubling the conscientious public today are simply these: Is the Kudankulam Unit-1 ready for introduction of nuclear fuel assemblies into its core (‘fuelling’), having fully completed all the safety modifications and additions recommended by AERB’s Post-Fukushima Committee to Review Safety of Indian Nuclear Power Plants? What other mandatory, pre-fuelling safety-related tasks such as conducting proper emergency drills in villages within a 30 km-radius of the reactors remain? What are the serious implications to public safety if NPCIL and AERB move forward with fuelling activity and bring this reactor to its full power of 1000 MWe in the current state of inadequate and incomplete safety status?

On some of the glaring defaults of the current actions of the DAE, NPCIL and the AERB vis-à-vis KNPP-1, there are three Special Leave Petitions (SLPs) currently before the Supreme Court of India. The next hearing of one SLP that seriously pleads for stopping fuelling activity is set for September 27. As early as on March 26, 2012 , a writ petition (no. 8262) was filed in the Madras High Court for a direction against the DAE, NPCIL, AERB and others to implement all the recommendations of the AERB’s Post-Fukushima Report before fuel-loading is started. In response, the AERB counsel informed the court , “— that before initial fuel loading is done, the compliance of all the requirements under Annexure-8 (of the AERB report) will be ensured by the AERB and it is only after its satisfaction any direction (for loading fuel) will be given—” . Subsequently , the High Court decided to reserve its orders on August 2, 2012 , pending detailed judgement to follow.

In the interim, since the court had not imposed any stay on actions by NPCIL and AERB, chairman, AERB, used this opportunity to issue a clearance for initial fuel loading of KNPP-1 on August 10 after reviews by their internal committees. The original petitioner then filed yet another writ petition (no. 22253) in the Madras HC on August 13, challenging the fuel-loading clearance given by AERB, even while 11 out of the 17 safety recommendations of the AERB’s Post-Fukushima Report still remained to be implemented. AERB, in reply to this writ petition, submitted two affidavits, first one on August 18 and another on August 22.

The post-Fukushima evaluations by an independent AERB committee, headed by a past chairman of the AERB had recommended 17 safety upgrades in Annexure-8 of its report. The committee, however, did not sort these on the basis of relative importance, urgency or priority. The sense you get from this report is that all 17 corrective steps are equally important and AERB must insist on all of them being fully implemented and tested before fuel-loading is permitted. This is consistent with the affidavit earlier submitted to the Madras HC by Mr R. Suresh Kumar, counsel for AERB, “ — that before initial fuel loading is done, the compliance of all the requirements under Annexure-8 will be ensured by the AERB and it is only after its satisfaction that any direction will be given—–” .

However, in their affidavits to the same court on August 18 and 22, AERB reversed its stand by stating, “—recommendations in Annexure-8 of the Post-Fukushima Report were considered (by the internal AERB committees) during review of the application for fuel loading submitted by NPCIL. The review indicated that KNPP-1 has adequate safety measures against external events — In order to further enhance safety , as an abundant measure , some additional safety enhancements proposed by NPCIL were reviewed in depth and accepted for implementation in a phased manner.”

“Based on the review and resolution of NPCIL submissions, AERB agreed for short-term (less than six months) and long-term ( less than two years) implementation of the Post-Fukushima recommendations from the date of the fuel-loading clearance”.

Ultimately, the Madras HC did not agree with the plea of the protesters for full implementation of Annexure-8 safety steps before fuel loading is initiated and the matter is now being heard by the Supreme Court. Even as the Supreme Court hearings are going on, the NPCIL and the AERB are already loading the nuclear fuel into KNPP-1.

What the AERB has done is a total volte face of its earlier stated positions in the Madras HC, and contrary to the spirit and recommendations of the AERB Post-Fukushima Safety Evaluation Committee.

This has happened because the DAE, NPCIL and AERB appear to be under the direct control of the PMO on the Kudankulam issue, and none of them dares to take any decisions on their own.

The PM, is for months accused in the national and international press for India’s policy paralysis, the dwindling performance of the power sector, and for substantial slippage in the execution schedules of many major projects. During his last two visits to Russia, the PM promised expeditious completion of KNPP-1&2. The local protests at site have put a monkey wrench into his promises and timetable. PM and his PMO consider their face-saving to be more important than the possibility of imperiling the lives of people living near KNPP-1, and appear to have clearly instructed the DAE-AERB combine to rush through with commissioning the plant. The subservient DAE and AERB seem to be complying with his directions.

In this hurried approach to starting the KNPP-1 project, what essential safety precautions are the NPCIL and AERB tossing by the wayside? As per current plans, the reactor will be operated at least for the first two years or more at the full power level of 1000 MWe, without its primary containment being assessed for its ultimate load-bearing capacity; without the availability of a portable diesel-powered unit with sensors and instrumentation to monitor essential safety parameters in case of a total blackout; in the absence of a set of mobile self-powered pumping set for emergency area use; without rectifying the serious inadequacies in instrumentation for independent monitoring of plant status during major accidents; and without the addition of mobile back-up power units like air-cooled diesel sets. Why each of these actions should take as long as 24 months to complete is unimaginable, but these actions have to be indeedexpedited, since they are all essential for mitigating the consequences of a major accident.

The AERB committee has also strongly recommended the urgent installation of an additional seismically-qualified 8,000 cubic-meter capacity back-up water storage tank as an alternate source for use under emergency situations where such actions as injection of borated water into the core and into the spent-fuel pool, charging water into the steam generator secondary side, etc will require excessive amounts of water. The already provided emergency water-storage facility has not been seismically-qualified and may not withstand moderate earthquakes. This anomaly has to be urgently rectified through analysis and repair. This existing storage was also found to be inadequate in holding capacity , for removing decay heat for a period of a minimum one week . This too is to be rectified. In case of a beyond design basis accident (BDBA), the emergency operating procedures to be used are still to be formulated and documented, to help impart training on BDBA to the operating staff.

It is more than 16 months since the Fukushima accident occurred and NPCIL has not even started planning for these procedures. Each of the above tasks is put in for “short-term” completion, namely, within the next six months. I doubt whether a satisfactory completion of many of these tasks can be achieved in six months, each may take more like one year at least.

As it stands, the important point to note is that NPCIL and AERB are NOT going to carry out any of the short or long-term tasks mentioned above, before the reactor is fuelled and brought to 1000 MWe power level. This approach is totally unacceptable from the safety point of view. Whether these 17 safety corrections are implemented or not, the probability of a major accident will remain more or less the same. But, ALL these safety corrections are necessary to ensure that the mitigation of the consequences will be far more acceptable with the corrections implemented than without, and these safety corrections will provide a distinctly safer environment for populations around the KNPP-1. Therefore, ALL the above-mentioned long-term and short-term safety corrections recommended by the AERB committee must be completed before the reactor is fuelled. Whatever fuel so far loaded into the core can be taken out safely and stored for future use.

 

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Koodankulam Protesters Lay Siege To Thoothukudi Harbor. Countercurrents. 22 September 2012.

Thousands of fishermen Saturday blocked the approach channel to the Thoothukudi Harbor with their boats to protest against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP).

Fishermen in more than 2,000 boats blocked the channel in the morning protesting against the nuclear reactor at Kudankulam. 

At Idinthakarai village in Tirunelveli district, people formed a human chain protesting against the nuclear reactor.

“On Sep 25 we plan to hold a demonstration outside central government offices across the state. And on Sep 27, we have invited leaders of political parties and social organisations to Idinthakarai to participate in our protest,” said S.P. Udayakumar, coordinator of PMANE.

India’s atomic power plant operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is building two 1,000 MW reactors with Russian help at Kudankulam since 2001.

Villagers under the PMANE banner have opposed the project for the past one year, fearing for their safety, especially since the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in Japan March 2011.

The NPCIL has started loading the first reactor with enriched uranium fuel bundles numbering 163 in the first reactor following the nod given by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) Tuesday.

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How we learned to love the Bomb by Anand Patwardhan. May 1998.

A Simple Statement On Nuclear Power and Climate Change. Nuclear Information and Resource Service.

We’re getting a little tired hearing nuclear industry lobbyists and pro-nuclear politicians allege that environmentalists are now supporting nuclear power as a means of addressing the climate crisis. We know that’s not true, and we’re sure you do too. In fact, using nuclear power would be counterproductive at reducing carbon emissions. As Amory Lovins of Rocky Mountain Institute points out, “every dollar invested in nuclear expansion will worsen climate change by buying less solution per dollar…”

The simple statement below will be sent to the media and politicians whenever they misstate the facts. We hope you and your organization will join us and sign on in support here.

“We do not support construction of new nuclear reactors as a means of addressing the climate crisis. Available renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies are faster, cheaper, safer and cleaner strategies for reducing greenhouse emissions than nuclear power.”

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*Recounting Horror: Stories of Police Atrocity from Koodankulam. Anitha S. 20 September 2012. Dianuke.*

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Sayonara Nuclear Power. The Hindu. 22 September 2012. –

The much needed big push towards low-cost, highly-efficient, cutting-edge renewable energy technologies was lacking till recently. Even the compulsion to cut down carbon dioxide emission levels by 2020 failed to overcome the inertia. But the landscape has squarely and dramatically changed following the 9 magnitude earthquake and killer tsunami waves that resulted in the catastrophic accident in the Fukushima nuclear reactor units in Japan. In what may appear as well co-ordinated announcements made very recently, Japan and France, both major nuclear power champions, have announced their departure from nuclear energy dependence. If March 11, 2011 has gone down in history as a dark day for Japan, the government’s September 14 decision to end its reliance on nuclear power by 2040 by closing down all 50 reactors will forever be remembered as a defining moment. This will, in all probability, mark the beginning of a renewable energy technology revolution. If after World War II, the Japanese people transformed their nation into one of the world’s most industrially developed ones, the possibility of the country producing an encore with alternative energy technology developments cannot be ruled out.

Japan is not alone. The Fukushima shiver has had its reverberations in France as well. By 2025, France will cut its reliance on nuclear energy by 25 per cent from the current level of 75 per cent by shutting down 24 reactors. Six months after the Fukushima catastrophe and following Germany’s decision to get out of nuclear energy by 2022, Siemens had made public its decision to exit nuclear power business. The engineering giant intends to shift its focus to alternative energies. By 2020 Germany intends to derive 35 per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources. While critics decry Japan’s plan to wait another three decades before switching off its last nuclear plant, the decision is not without basis. Some 30 per cent of the country’s power requirement is met by these plants. Decommissioning operating plants that have not completed their lifetime will mean economical suicide. This period also gives Japan the time to develop and scale up revolutionary technologies that are better adapted to harness power from even very low wind speed, and low-intensity sunlight for the better part of the year in countries situated in higher latitudes. The focus will also be on developing technologies for harnessing wave energy. To begin with, the cost of production using these alternative technologies may be higher than even nuclear. But costs are bound to fall over time and wider acceptance is inevitable.

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22 September 2012. Nityanand Jayaraman – Since September last year, we have been hearing from Narayanasamy and others that the commissioning of the plant is imminent. Now we hear news that fuel loading is going on. There is no way to confirm or negate this. Even if it has begun, it does not mean that radioactivity has commenced. That will happen only after all fuel rods are inserted. There are a total of 311 fuel rods in the entire assembly. The AERB reportedly told the SC that it will take more than 2 months for commissioning. Let’s see what comes up tomorrow in the media.

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Thanks to the able assistance of Prof. Sam (Teachers Against Nukes), Revathi (Chennai Solidarity Group), and independent photographer Amirtharaj Stephen, a fact-finding visit by a team led by Justice Kolse Patil was successfully concluded yesterday.

These are excerpts from The New Indian Express, The Hindu and The Times of India’s reports on the fact-finding team’s visits –

20 September 2012 Fact-finding team meets protesters. The New Indian Express –

The fact finding team comprises former High Court Judge Kolse Patil, journalist Kalpana Sharma and writers Joe D’Cruz and Revathi.

An anti-Koodankulam plant protest leader Peter Milton told Express that the fact finding team arrived at Idinthakarai at around 5 pm on Wednesday and met some of the protestors who were affected in the September 10 incident.

On Thursday, the team would inspect the destroyed fibre boats and two-wheelers, and later would visit the Tsunami Nagar at Idinthakarai. From there, the team would proceed to Koodankulam village.

PMANE Meet Today

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) leader M Pushparayan told Express that they would most probably finalise their plans on the next course of protest on Thursday.

“Community leaders and village committee leaders from Idinthakarai and Kuthenkuly as well as the protest leaders would sit together and discuss the next course of action. The plan has not been finalised yet,” he added.

20 September 2012. Fact-finding teams in Idinthakarai. The Hindu. 

Madurai

A fact-finding team comprising of 12 lawyers attached to Human Rights Protection Centre, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) opposing the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, has concluded that the police had used excessive force against the anti-nuclear protestors in Kudankulam and Idinthakarai in Tirunelveli district on September 10 and 11. In its interim report, the team comprising the NGO’s state-level coordinator S. Raji, S. Vanchinathan, P. Natarajan and others said that the policemen had acted against their own Police Standing Orders while dealing with the agitators who attempted to approach the reactor when their peaceful protest for more than 390 days did not evoke a positive response from the Centre and the State.

After listing out the names of the agitators who were allegedly attacked, abused and subjected to cruelty and also annexing the photographs of those injured, the team recommended that the police force deputed in the two villages must be withdrawn immediately. It also wanted the prohibitory order imposed under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to be revoked.

The other recommendations of the fact finding team include ordering an enquiry by a sitting district judge into the violence, withdrawal of cases registered in connection with the protests and providing compensation to all those who had suffered injuries or damage to their properties. The team also wanted the government to defer from portraying the struggle committee leader S.P. Udayakumar as a criminal.

21 September 2012. Cop’s action questioned. The New Indian Express – 

After visiting the Indinthakarai, Tsunami Colony, Vairavikinaru and Koodankulam villages on Wednesday and Thursday, Judge (retired) B G Kolse Patil, members Senior Journalist Kalpana Sharma, Chennai-based writer Joe D’cruz speaking to reporters here on Thursday, said, “We visited the village and spoke to the residents and relatives of those who have been put behind bars.”

The team charged that the police, while trying to quell the protests, did not issue a warning or held talks with the leaders of the agitators. On the contrary, the protestors never took the law into their hands, the team claimed. Patil also raised questions over the sections of IPC slapped against the protestors. Joe D’cruz said the struggle was being taken forward by all the community people. “The womenfolk is actively participating in the movement” he added.

21 September 2012. Fear psychosis grips villagers : panel. The Hindu.

Sharing its findings on “police atrocities” on September 10 with the media here on Thursday, the team said that various checkpoints and the presence of police created an atmosphere of tension and people were reeling under fear psychosis that they might be attacked anytime by the police. The team also found that since they were poor there had been an attempt to suppress the protest by stating that they lacked a sense of understanding about nuclear power and were protesting blindly.

Expired teargas shells

Mr. Patil said the protesters had a right to agitate and the police had not followed any guidelines. They attacked the people without any warning. The team had found that teargas shells lobbed at protesters were expired ones. “These should have been discarded in 2001,” and the chemicals had resulted in burn injuries and skin problems. The agitation by anti-nuclear plant protesters was within the constitutionally guaranteed rights under Article 19, where citizens were allowed in groups to protest in a non-violent manner. “This has been their way of protest for almost a year. However, police who had to give protection to the protesters have unleashed violence on them,” he said. The panel found that Vairavakinaru village was like a “ghost village”, where most of the men had gone abroad to earn their livelihood and it was the womenfolk who stayed back. The police raided the village, abused the women and made derogatory remarks and obscene gestures. Nine people, including a 75-year-old man, were arrested in the village along with a 16-year-old boy.

In all these villages, there were common factors: those arrested were charged under identical sections. These included Section 124 A (Sedition), 121A (Waging war against the State), 307,353, 147 and 148. The other more disturbing testimony was from women who complained about abusive and sexist remarks of the police when they entered the villages and while chasing them near the sea shore.

21 September 2012. Probe team finds police excesses against anti-nuclear protesters. The Times of India

Addressing media persons in Madurai, Justice Patel said that they had recorded testimonies of the victims of Idinthakarai and Tsunami Colony and had taken note of the fact that the teargas used by the police was well beyond its shelf life and had and expiry date of 2001. The use of the expired gas had led to the people suffering from burn injuries and developing boils all over their bodies, especially neck and skin.

Even boys and girls in the age group of 16 years were not spared by the police when they launched their attack against these people. Lavina (29), a physically challenged girl told the team that a police man had allegedly molested her and tried to force her into having sex with him.

People were lathicharged mercilessly and the houses in Tsunami Colony were ransacked and looted by the police, according to the villagers. Sixty-nine two-wheelers and fibre boats were damaged. Ever since the attack, people feared for their lives and preferred to spend the nights in the local church.

In Vairavi Kinnaru, the villagers said that almost 450 houses had been damaged by the police. A statue of St Mary was desecrated by the miscreants and the statue of lord Ganesha damaged. Even a 16-year-old boy was away by the police. The team was denied entry into the juvenile home in Tirunelveli where they attempted to meet the inmates.

Meanwhile, the anti-nuclear activists are gearing up for another round of protests against the fuel loading in Kudankulam nuclear plant.

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) coordinator S P Udayakumar has announced that the villagers would besiege the port at Tuticorin on Saturday. In the next phase, the villagers, as well as activists across the state would besiege all the Central government offices to oppose the Centre’s decision to go ahead with uranium fuel loading despite opposition from the villagers.

Udayakumar said that the decision was taken after consultation with representatives from various villages. He said that the next phase of the protest would not be confined to Idinthakarai, but would be spread out across all the 13 coastal districts in Tamil Nadu.

 (update shared by Nityanand Jayaraman)

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Nuclear Workers from Rawatbhata Support Koodankulam Struggle, Expose NPCIL. 15 September 2012. Dianuke.org –

“We condemn the brutality unleashed by the NPCIL and Tamil Nadu Government on the innocent people of Koodankulam in strongest terms. The situation in Koodankulam today is a creation of NPCIL itself. Wherever they have to construct a new reactor, they make big promises to the local people. But as soon as the reactor construction is complete, they use force to exploit people.”

Is this a Democratic country, Asks S P Udayakumar

The 6 Lies of the Nuclear Establishment in Koodankulam

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16 September 2012. Japan’s radiation catastrophe was made in Australia. Dave Sweeney. The Sydney Morning Herald.

In March last year, the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi reactor complex was shattered by the earthquake and tsunami that tore through Japan’s east coast. The world held its breath as images of emergency workers in radiation suits, bewildered and fearful locals, and grainy aerial footage of an increasingly vulnerable reactor dominated our screens and newspapers, and while the headlines might have faded, the radiation, dislocation and complexity has not.

Fukushima means ”fortunate island” but the region’s luck melted down alongside the reactor.

Last September, a United Nations special report detailed some of the impacts: ”hundreds of billions of dollars of property damage”, ”serious radioactive contamination of water, agriculture, fisheries” and ”grave stress and mental trauma”.

To this day, about 150,000 people cannot return to their homes. Lives have been utterly disrupted and Fukushima remains a profound environmental and social tragedy.

A grandmother who was moved away from the exclusion zone hosts us in her new home. The clusters of caravan-park style cabins are a long way from her former village life. Her eyes light up and her years drop down when she speaks of her three grandchildren and the three great-grandchildren due later this year. But then she is asked how often she sees them and the light fades. The interpreter stumbles, the room falls silent and we all look down and feel sad and strangely ashamed.

A doctor at a nearby medical centre tells of how more than 6000 doctors, nurses and patients were relocated there from the adjacent exclusion zone. The hill behind is criss-crossed with red tape that marks the progress of decontamination work.

When asked by a German doctor, the doctor confirms that while they now have iodine tablets in the hospital, they weren’t equipped with them when the disaster struck. ”Then it was too late,” she says. ”Yes,” he confirms, ”then it was too late.”

We visit a local organic farmer – one of the first in the area to have bravely returned to his land. Beside the farmer’s house is a cedar tree that is 1200 years old. His ancestors had the honour of supplying rice to the Shogun feudal lords – now the rice from those same fields is radioactive. I sit by a pond in his rice paddy as he explains his hope that if the ducks eat enough worms and grubs they might remove the radiation from his soil. No one has the heart to contradict him.

On deserted roads we pass skeletal abandoned greenhouses, increasingly wild fields, empty houses and rotting sheds. Long dormant vehicles have grass in the wheel arches and the landscape is dotted with recently removed contaminated soil wrapped like round hay bales in blue plastic. Traffic cones and stern signage to deter looting block the smaller side roads, and police and relocated residents share patrols to keep thieves away.

But the biggest thief is invisible. Radiation has robbed this region of much of its past, present and future. Radiation hits hardest at growing cells and many parents are understandably concerned and have moved. The old remain and in the absence of the young their years show.

The manager of the local store shows us sophisticated point-of-sale radiation monitoring equipment and warns us against eating wild mushrooms.

A doctor speaks of the lack of community confidence in the official radiation data and declares that another nuclear accident would be ”the ruin of Japan”, and all the while the radiation monitor on the bus keeps clicking.

And each click counts the decay of a piece of rock dug up in Australia. In October 2011, a formal Australian government statement confirmed ”that Australian obligated nuclear material was at the Fukushima Daiichi site and in each of the reactors”.

Australian uranium fuelled Fukushima. Australian uranium is now radioactive fallout that is contaminating Japan and beyond and the response of the Australian government and the Australian uranium producers and their industry association has been profoundly and shamefully deficient.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaks of business as usual, Resources Minister Martin Ferguson talks of the ”unfortunate incident” and the more bullish of the uranium miners have called the crisis a ”sideshow”. There can be no atomic business as usual in the shadow of Fukushima. The nuclear debate is live in Japan and now needs to come alive in Australia. We need a genuine assessment of the costs and consequences of our uranium trade. To fail to learn from this tragedy is deeply disrespectful and increases the chance of Australian uranium fuelling future Fukushimas.

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Where the mind is full of fear. Suvrat Raju and M V Ramanna. The Hindu. Opinion>Lead. 19 September 2012 – 

Contempt for democracy is as old as democracy itself. The British liberal, John Locke, wrote in 1695 that for “day-labourers and tradesmen, the spinsters and dairy-maids … hearing plain commands, is the sure and only course to bring them to obedience and practice. The greatest part cannot know, and therefore they must believe.” The Indian ruling classes have evidently taken these medieval ideas to heart. They are simply unable to acknowledge, anywhere in India, that farmers and working-class people may have a valid and independent perspective on infrastructural projects that must be respected.

The strife in Kudankulam illustrates this attitude. When peaceful rallies against the plant started in 1988, immediately after the project was mooted, the police responded with live ammunition. At the public hearing for the environmental impact assessment of the proposed units 3 to 6, the project met with overwhelming opposition; the government simply ignored this. Last year, when the commissioning of the first reactor became imminent, a large body of people shifted from sporadic expressions of opposition to active but non-violent resistance. The Jayalalithaa government stalled for a while but soon — possibly after striking a political deal with the Manmohan Singh government — rolled ahead with the project. The recent incidents of state repression — in which one person was killed in police firing and paramilitary forces were seen literally driving villagers into the sea — form the latest addition to this pattern.

The Kudankulam-1 plant will augment Tamil Nadu’s total installed capacity by about 5 per cent. The question is whether this benefit justifies the risks and costs associated with the plant. For an individual or corporation based in Chennai, the risks may be small enough to be outweighed even by marginal benefits. But the people who are being asked to bear the brunt of the risk and the inconvenience caused by the plant — the locals near Kudankulam — will benefit only minimally.

The government could determine how the locals balance these factors through a meaningful dialogue with the PMANE or direct public consultations. Instead it wants to force them to trust the decisions of its officials and experts. This brings us to the central issue at stake in Kudankulam: is the course of development in India to be charted only by technocrats guided by corporate and upper-class priorities or will India move towards a true democracy where people have control of their own resources and environment?

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+ Greens urge Australian PM to raise human rights and nuclear safety on India tour Media release: Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam. 16 September 2012. (forwarded by Nityanand)

The Australian Greens have urged the Prime Minister to use her impending visit to India to speak out on the ongoing repression of Indian communities opposed to nuclear power.

Massive protests against new reactors in India are adding to the global pressure on the slumping nuclear power industry.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said the democratic right to protest was being steamrolled by the Indian police.

“In Koodankulum nuclear reactors are being forced on local residents at gunpoint, and uranium fuel loading is imminent despite 10 safety guidelines having not been met. Brutal repression has been carried out by the police against tens of thousands of peaceful protestors at the reactor. Two people have been shot dead by police, most recently Anthony Samy just five days ago. There have been at least five deaths in the struggles against Koodankulam, Jaitapur (Maharashtra) and Gorakhpur (Haryana) nuclear power plants since 2010.

“In 2011 one of India’s pioneer nuclear scientists and formerly a member of India’s Atomic Energy Commission, Dr MP Parameswaran, said India should suspend its entire nuclear program because of safety risks and the unresolved problem of nuclear waste.

“Earlier this year India was ranked 28th out of 32 countries in terms of the security of their nuclear stockpiles. Making matters worse, the new Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority (NSRA) has fewer powers and less independence than the previous Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. The NSRA is a puppet body: answerable to a handful of government ministers who can issue orders to the body, and sack its members.”

Senator Ludlam will move a motion for the Senate to call on the Prime Minister to make nuclear safety, nuclear proliferation, and the human right to peaceful protest major issues in her October visit to India.

Media Contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302

More details: The motionNuclear safety in India | The anti-nuclear struggle in India | India and nuclear proliferation

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Protest against proposed nuclear power plant in Koodankulam, 1989. Shared by Prabakar Kappikulam

16 September 2012 – 

Koodankulam Protesters Create Symoblic Mass Graves. Countercurrents.org [click on image to read article]

Live Updates from Idinthakarai, Koodankulam

+. IDINTHAKARAI, KOODANKULAM UPDATE – 15 SEPTEMBER 2012

quoted from Latha Jishnu’s article in Down to Earth – ‘A schoolgirl’s nuclear nightmare’. 5 April 2012 – 

But is there any evidence that people living close to nuclear plants are more prone to cancer than elsewhere? That’s when I feel a light touch on my arm and a little girl butts into the discussion. “Radiation does cause cancer and my textbo ok says so.” So says Varshini, 10, a fifth standard student of a high school in Pannakudi. She also wants to make it clear that her village did not start its opposition to the plant on the eve of its commissioning. “Media was not there when we were protesting earlier. People like you and TV channels were missing,” she adds for good measure.

But the textbook angle is intriguing. What does it say? After scrabbling around two are found in school satchels and shown to me: Varshini’s Science and General Knowledge textbook and Science 9 for ninth standard students. Both are prepared by the Tamil Nadu Education Department. The latter has graphic visuals of a mushroom cloud after an atomic explosion. It talks of the dangers of radiation, of blood cancer, of thyroid in babies, of strontium getting deposited in bones and thus causing bone cancer, of the hazards of Iodine 131. Oddly enough, the chapter also outlines steps to prevent radioactive pollution, ways of removing radioactive material from reactors and disposing waste safely! There is also a box on the Chernobyl accident, which is described as the worst in the world (newer textbooks will be ranking Fukushima, too, on the same scale).Varshini’s question is simple: who is lying? “Why is the Central government telling us the KKNPP project is safe when our state government is warning us about the dangers of cancer from radiation leaks?” But now the Tamil Nadu government of J Jayalalithaa, too, is convinced all of a sudden that the project is safe and that leaves her even more bewildered. “Why do they teach us something and then do something exactly the opposite?”demands the 10-year-old. Pushpa has an answer for that. “It is the way of governments. Even if the Kudankulam project blows up in our face they will build another plant somewhere else and tell the people nuclear power is safe.” But that cynicism is tempered with a warning. “It’s not easy to fool us anymore. People are clued in and better informed after Fukushima.”And so the struggle promises to continue even though a couple of hundred people have been thrown in jail and sedition cases filed against PMANE leaders and some village folk. In 1989 when people in the area joined the national rally to Protect Water, Protect Life, Genova was a nine-year-old schoolgirl in Idinthakarai village. She made a fiery speech, calling on the elders to protect the future of their children. There is a grainy image of hers in a video film made of that protest. Today, Genova is fighting as a mother. Her son was born last month, just before the state cracked down on the anti-nuclear protest, and she has no doubt what she needs to do. “My fight will go on. I need to protect my child’s future and those of all the children here.”

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shared by Dianuke –

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+. IDINTHAKARAI, KOODANKULAM UPDATE – 14 SEPTEMBER 2012

7.00 p.m. (forwarded by Nityanand Jayaraman)

Four youngsters — aged between 15 and 16 — that were untraceable for the last three days were finally located at the Palayamkottai Juvenile Home. It took half a day for the Juvenile home to admit that the children were in their custody, and another half a day to unearth information regarding their arrest.

With these arrests, the Koodankulam Police Station has plumbed depths even it has not ventured to in the past.  The youngsters have been charged with upto 14 offences, including sedition and waging war against the state.

Confirmed Details below

Cr.NO. 348/12    Rajakumar s/o Chandran aged 16, Vairavikulam Offences u/s 147, 148, 353, 431, 121(A), 122(A), 395, 307, r/w 149 IPC and  sec 3 of TNPPDL Act
 
Cr.NO.349/12   Kisan S/o Dolasal aged 16, Idindakarai, off u/s 147, 148, 188, r/w 144 cr.p.c and 332, 352, 355, 294,(b), 307, 427 IPC r/w 149 IPC and sec 13 of unlawful Assembly Act and 3 of TNPPDL ACT.
 
Cr. No. 351/12  Karuna sahar, s/o Pushparaj aged 15 Koodankulam and Muthukumaresan s/o Ganesan aged 16 Koodankulam
off u/s  147,148, 353, 431, 188 IPC r/w 144 Cr.PC 291, 294(b) 121, 124(A) 307 IPC r/w 149 IPC and 3 of TNPPDL ACT and sec 4 E.S. Act. 

by G.Ramesh Advocate, Nellai

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+ Nuclear Roulette. The Case Against a “Nuclear Renaissance”. Gar Smith. No. 5 International Forum on Globalisation. 

Switching energy sources and “going green” is only part of the solution. After all, a pistol redesigned to fire biodegradable bullets is still a weapon. If the Age of Industrial Solar produces a legacy of “green tailings”—choking landfills with cast-off batteries and PV panels leaking heavy metals, acidic fluids, and caustic chemicals into our groundwater—we will have failed to address the fundamental issues of sustain- able survival. Our goal must be total closed-loop recycling, where every industry’s waste becomes another industry’s raw material—imitating nature’s wise and economical use of resources.

Many of the sicknesses of contemporary America and the rest of the “developed world” stem from excess: too many calories, too many miles driven, too many ostentatious living spaces, too much throwaway stuff. Instead of globalization’s promise of “More from Everywhere,” a better watchword for the future will be “Less and Local.” Our long-term survival in the 21st century depends not on consumption but on social solidarity, cooperation, sharing, resourcefulness, knowledge and health.The future belongs to those whose basic needs and wellbeing can be sustained locally, in low-impact, self-supporting communities.

We need decentralized solutions and ground-up, community-based alternatives. Instead of bailing out speculators, we should be investing to create small-scale, decentralized, sustainable and democratic communities supported by millions of small, local, organic farms. 

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(Reuters) – Japan’s government said it intends to stop using nuclear power by the 2030s, marking a major shift from policy goals set before last year’s Fukushima disaster that sought to increase the share of atomic energy to more than half of electricity supply.

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Nuclear Power vs. People Power by Raminder Kaur. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 

Article Highlights

  • India’s ambitions include a tenfold increase in nuclear power so it supplies 25 percent of the nation’s energy  needs by 2050. Two 1,000-megawatt nuclear reactors at Koodankulam are expected to go online very soon — the first commissioned reactors since Fukushima.
  • The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy has successfully mobilized tens of thousands of Indian citizens to join nonviolent protests, while the Indian state has resorted to  harassment and threats of violence.
  • The nuclear establishment is the darling of Indian statehood, with far more people employed by the nuclear industry than the renewable energy sector. Citizen calls for increased transparency, accountability, and proper adherence to procedure have been met  with repeated denials, deferrals, and deceit.

Kaur is the author of Atomic Bombay: Living with the Radiance of a Thousand Suns (2012) andPerformative Politics and the Cultures of Hinduism (2003/5). She is also co-author ofDiaspora and Hybridity (with Virinder Kalra and John Hutnyk, 2005) and co-editor of Censorship in South Asia (with William Mazzarella, 2009),Bollyworld: Popular Indian Cinema through a Transnational Lens (with Ajay Sinha, 2005) andTravel Worlds: Journeys in Contemporary Cultural Politics (with John Hutnyk, 1999). She is based in the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex.

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11.10 a.m. (from Nityanand Jayaraman)

Condemn Tamil Nadu Police’s Arbitrary Pick-up, Interrogation and Arrests. Condemn TN Police’s refusal to disclose the FIR

Sathish Kumar is one of the Koodankulam support activists who was picked up in March and imprisoned for 4 months on trumped up charges of “Waging War Against the State.” Yesterday, he, alongwith another acquaintance of his named Muralidharan, were walking out of t

he Anna Centenary Library at around 2.15 p.m.. Both were picked up by Q-branch police. He was taken to Saidapet police station for interrogation. Among other things, he was asked to explain why he was not to be seen in any of the anti-Koodankulam protests since the time of his release on bail last month. At the time that he was picked up, Sathish was not engaged in any activity that could be even vaguely described as “political” — He was walking out of the library.From 2 p.m. to 9.30 p.m., neither his family nor his friends were intimated. His phones were switched off. At around 9.30 p.m., his family and friends learnt that he had been taken to Thiruvanmiyur Police Station and subsequently remanded to judicial custody in Puzhal Jail. It is now more than 20 hours since he was picked up. The family has not been allowed to even see the FIR. Sathish and Muralidharan are still in Jail, and people are still in the dark as to what the charges are.A member of Sathish’s family who was going crazy trying to locate him all of yesterday finally learnt that he was being arrested at the Thiruvanmiyur Police Station. The police deliberately misled her, telling her first that he was being charged under bailable sections, and then non-bailable, and then bailable. Below is an SMS from her:
“7(1)(A) of Criminal Law Amendment Act is non-bailable. Police told us that both are bailable. They didn’t inform the family about pick up; they didn’t share case details with the accused or the family before remand; they have denied us the chance of contesting it by providing false information orally without showing the FIR even after repeated requests.”Please call and fax Commissioner of Police:
JK Tripathy: 9840094500
044-28555034 (Fax). Email — cop@vsnl.net
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Freely quoted from No more Empty Promises – Koodankulam wants concrete safety measures. Nityanand Jayaraman.  Tehelka. with photographs by Amirtharaj Stephen who has been documenting the movement since November 2011.

AFTER LAST week’s violent crackdown on anti-nuclear protesters in Koodankulam, the Tamil Nadu government and the Centre have reiterated that nuclear power is perfectly safe and essential to India’s energy security. The Union home minister has trotted out the foreign hand; and J Jayalalithaa has appealed to “the people not to fall prey to the propaganda of those who oppose nuclear power as a matter of policy”.

…Political leaders and sections of the media have portrayed the protesters as obstinate and unwilling to listen to reason, phrases used to describe petulant children. In more charitable moments, they speak patronisingly of the fisherfolk and farmers who form the backbone of the agitation. “They are very simple people, knowing nothing but fishing and eating. They are being manipulated. It is very easy to mislead them by saying that their lives are at risk,” says South Zone IG Rajesh Das.

If the IG’s reading of the protesters as noble savages is a sincere one, there is little to wonder why the authorities have failed to “convince” them. “Udayakumar or Pushparayan are not instigating us,” says an irate Sagaya Initha, a ward councillor and vocal member of the anti-nuclear resistance. “This land and this sea is ours. This fight is ours. They are here at our insistence.”

….Of all the arguments put forward by nuclear proponents, perhaps the most engaging one is about the indispensability of nuclear power to Tamil Nadu’s energy security. As a state that is reeling under power cuts, Koodankulam has demonstrated that people are willing to kill for electricity. People hope and believe that Koodankulam will signal the end to power cuts in the state. But a back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests otherwise.

Tamil Nadu generates about 8,500 MW of electricity from its installed capacity of 10,364 MW. At peak demand of 12,500 MW, the state faces a shortfall of 4,000 MW. TANGEDCO, the state electricity generator, estimates the transmission and distribution losses at 18 percent. For every 100 MW generated, 18 MW is lost in transmission. Of Koodankulam Plant 1’s 1,000 MW installed capacity, 472.5 MW is earmarked for Tamil Nadu. Indian nuclear power plants operate at a plant load factor (PLF) of around 60 percent; a 100 MW plant will only generate 60 MW. With PLF accounted for, Tamil Nadu’s net generation will be 280 MW. Factor in the transmission loss, and the consumer is likely to get a meagre 230 MW, or 6 percent of the shortfall. That is unlikely to make your lights glow brighter.

Nuclear plants are unpopular, expensive to build —Rs 13 crore/MW— and suffer long delays. Of the 23 years since the Koodankulam plant was announced, only one year’s delay can be attributed to local protests. In contrast, reducing transmission and distribution losses as a way of freeing up electricity is inexpensive —Rs 50 lakh/MW — popular and quick to implement. Losses in countries such as China and Switzerland are a meagre 7 percent. If Tamil Nadu were to halve its losses to 9 percent of its total installed capacity, it will save 932 MW — more than the state’s share from Koodankulam Units 1 and 2.

So, why nuclear? Perhaps, as analysts of nuclear geopolitics like MV Ramana and Suvrat Raju point out, the Koodankulam and Jaitapur projects are part of a controversial foreign policy agenda, where the purchase of expensive nuclear plants is used to buttress relations with world powers. That would explain the 6,500 villagers charged with waging war against the State and 3,580 with sedition.

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A fresh round of public protests began against the nuclear power plant at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu last week. One person was killed when police tear-gassed protesters marching towards the nuclear plant on September 10. A petition seeking the Supreme Court’s intervention was filed the next day. Down To Earth presents a selection of articles that chronicle the battles fought over the nuclear power facilities: KUDANKULAM PROTESTS. DOWN TO EARTH

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[Transcript of V Pugazhenthi’s interview] – From Amudhan R P’s documentary trilogy – Radiation Stories. Part 02: Volume 02 Kalpakkam. 14mins 20s. Tamil

Doctor V. Pugazhenthi makes five critical points against radiation:

1. In relation to radiation, all international scientists agree that there is no safety. All other chemicals have threshold levels. When the level of a chemical crosses its threshold it is said it will affect safety. But, in relation to radiation, there is no safe dose.

2. 2005, January 30, it was officially announced (before this there was no official announcement) that x-ray, gamma rays and neutrons have carcinogenic properties, with evidence and authority. This is the most important point.

3. Getting an x-ray is more carcinogenic than an atom bomb. The effects of an x-ray happens in very small amounts that a body cannot recognize it early. The affected cells gradually grow into a cancer.

4. The Atomic Energy Department is caught in a bottleneck. The biggest problem is how to safely dispose without hazards the spent fuel [from nuclear power plants]. The technological support for this has not been invented anywhere in the world. They (Atomic Energy Department) say that they are safely burying under the ground. But, the truth is not that. Actually, all nations around the world dump their spent fuel in the oceans.

5. How long does radiation live? Plutonium 239  has a half-life of 24,000 years. If you think about it, you’ll know how dangerous it is. Iodine 129 has a half of 10,70,000 years. Won’t our descendants scold us, spit on us? Won’t they spit at us and ask: How can you leave amongst us a nuclear demon that you haven’t been able to destroy for so many years? That’s the question.

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IDINTHAKARAI, KOODANKULAM UPDATE – 13 SEPTEMBER 2012

Photographs from Idinthakarai, Koodankulam – September 13, 2012

What is Nuclear Energy?

9.00 p.m. (from Nityanand Jayaraman) – 

A posse of about 10 policemen from Koodankulam Police Station in Tirunelveli today visited the house of Udayakumar’s father at around 2 p.m. They said they wanted to hand over a summons in the name of Meera, wife of Udayakumar. When he refused to accept it, he was threatened and the elderly gentleman — who was alone — was told that he would be taken in. The summons, which was accepted, was issued by the Valliyoor Court and contained the following details:

Crime No. 141/12 and 73/12.
Sections 143, 157 and 291 of IPC read along with 149 of IPC and the 3(b)(c) Religious Institutions Act of 1998.143 — Punishment for unlawful assembly
157 — Harbouring persons hired for unlawful assembly
291 — Continuance of nuisance after injunction to discontinueSec 3(b)(c) of Religious Institutions Act, 1988
3. No religious institution or manager thereof shall use or allow the
use of any premises belonging to, or under the control of, the institution-
(a) for the promotion or propagation of any political activity. or
(b) for the harbouring of any person accused or convicted of an
offence under any law for the time being in force; or
(c) for the storing of any arms or ammunition. or

Arvind Kejriwal twitter updates (4.40 p.m.) –

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x. Koondankulam and Nuclear Power: Some myths, realities and frequently asked questions

5. Why are people protesting only now? Couldn’t they have told the Government that they don’t want the project when it was first proposed?

The project was first proposed in 1988. Within months, protests built up against the nuclear plant. People and students mobilised 1 million signatures against the nuclear plant to hand over to Mikhail Gorbachev, the then Premier of USSR, when he visited India in 1989. Black flag protests, youth mobilisation, rallies in Chennai and other urban centres. Koodankulam has been a controversial issue from Day One. On May 1, 1989, fisherfolk and other residents from around the project site organised a massive rally in Kanyakumari town. The peaceful rally was disrupted by the police, and one youngster – Ignatius – was shot in the police firing that ensued. Between 1991 and 2001, the protests died down, because USSR – the technology provider – splintered into several smaller nations. But this history is glossed over by the nuclear propagandists, and repeated without verification by a lazy and irresponsible media.

Like the Rajiv Gandhi Government at that time, the Sonia Gandhi Government now has refused to acknowledge the protests or heed the aspirations of local people.

That is evident from the manner in which the Central Government is hell-bent on pushing the Jaitapur nuclear project in the face of stiff opposition by local farmers and fisherfolk. Protests in Gorakhpur, Haryana, and Jaitapur are not just being ignored, but violently repressed.

It is true that the imminent commissioning of the Koodankulam plant, and the threat of expansion of the complex to accommodate 6,000 MW of capacity has re-awakened the fears of the local people. The 2004 tsunami gave the coastal people first hand experience of the raw fury of nature. The television images of the devastation caused by the triple disaster in Fukushima, and the subsequent tragedy of lakhs of Japanese who were prevented from returning to their homes or to their normal lives are still fresh in the minds of people. People would be stupid to not be fearful.

We should not be asking people why they have not protested, or protested strongly enough. Rather, we should be asking our Government why it wasted all this money instead of acknowledging people’s opposition and abandoning the project.

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4.40 p.m. from Firstpost.com

3.45pm: Police have filed a fresh case against PMANE convenor Udayakumar and his wife. Udayakumar, who was whisked away by villagers in an effort to stop him from surrendering to police is currently in an unknown location. He has reportedly decided to give up his bid to court arrest, after IAC leader Arvind Kejriwal convinced him not to.

3.35pm: The villagers of Idinthakarai have decided to come out of the sea, and continue their fight against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant. The protest suffered a setback when the Supreme Court refused to stay the fuel loading of the plant reactor. Reporters from Idinthakarai say that villagers are still upbeat.

Meanwhile Minister for the PMO, V Narayanasamy has once again said that it is very clear that a foreign agencies vested interests are responsible for the anti-nuclear protests inKudankulam. “The villagers were told that if anyone died during the agitation they would get compensation of Rs 5 lakh rupees. Where are they getting this money from, when their bank accounts have been blocked?”, asked Narayanasamy.

He added that the deportation of a German national who had been ‘loitering in the area’, also confirmed the presence of a foreign hand.

3.01pm: The petitioner on behalf of the Kudankulam Protestors, Prashant Bhushan, has said that the Supreme Court refusal to stay the loading of fuel into the nuclear reactor is not a setback.

Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, Bhushan said that the court had refused to stay the fuel loading before the next hearing which will take place next Thursday, because the government had said that it would take a full two months for the plant to become operational even after the fuel was loaded.

The court had therefore told the petitioners that there was no reason for the protestors to worry about any adverse effects yet.

Bhushan added that since the safety aspects had been dealt with a previous longer judgement relating to environment clearance, the court wanted to go through that judgement before making a final decision.

“The attitude of the court was very positive and they are concerned about the safety of the people”, said Bhushan.

He added that the government had been evasive when the court had asked whether the 17 recommendations of the safety panel had been implemented, saying that the recommendations were not necessary.

2.44pm: Reports say that the Supreme Court has refused to stop fuel loading at Kudankulam nuclear plant. This is a massive setback for protestors who are currently embarking on a ‘Jal Satyagraha’, standing in the sea and refusing to stop protesting until the nuclear power project is called off.

12:45 pm: Petition against Kudankulam plant to come up in Supreme Court at 2 pm

The Special Leave Petition (SLP) by social activist G Sundarrajan against the Madras High Court’s August 31 decision refusing to impose any restraint has claimed that non-implementation of various recommendations formulated by the Government’s Task Force “puts to grave risk the safety of millions of citizens.”

It has complained that in complete violation of the absolute liability principle evolved by the apex court, the government has absolved the Russian company supplying the nuclear reactor of any liability in case of an accident.

“The government has also brutally cracked down on the local community peacefully protesting against the plant and has slapped sedition cases against thousands of protesters,” it said.

“Thus it is absolutely clear that the government intends to push the project through without any consideration of the safety, costs, environmental impact and other concerns regarding the project,” the petition said.

The petition is expected to be heard at 2 pm and is to be argued by Prashant Bhushan and the petition is seeking that the commissioning of the two units of the Kudankulam plant be halted.

12:15 pmProtestors form human chains, shout slogans

The hundreds of protestors are still in the water and shouting slogans against the nuclear power plant.

Safety ropes have been tied to prevent them from being washed away and authorities seem to prefer to watch developments unfold rather than take action that could potentially result in a loss of lives.

12:00 pmWill protests deter nuclear fuel from being loaded into the Kudankulam plant

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) has completed the boron flushing of the first reactor at its Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP), a major exercise stipulated by the atomic energy regulator, an official told IANS on Wednesday.

“The NPCIL completed the boron flushing (flushing of reactor systems with boric acid) activity Tuesday. The reactor vessel has to be dried,” SS Bajaj, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) chairman said.

A team of AERB officials are camping at KNPP to look into various safety aspects before giving the final nod to load the enriched uranium fuel bundles into the reactor.

However, authorities are maintaining a studied silence over the operations at the plant which has been given the go-ahead by the Madras High Court.

The Supreme Court will also hear a petition  filed by Prashant Bhushan against the plant being made operational.

11:45 am: Protestors seek intervention of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa

Protestors are hoping for the intervention of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

“We are hoping that Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa will hear our voice,” an activist told CNN IBN.

While head of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) SP Udayakumar’s whereabouts are still not known, the activist said he will not be present at the protest.

The majority of the protestors seem to be women and children. The protest is expected to continue till this evening and activists say that they will continue until the state government responds to their demands.

11:30 amHundreds standing in sea near Kudankulam nuclear plant

Hundreds of protestors are not heeding the orders of the authorities and have waded into the sea at Kudankulam.

Mostly women and children waded into the sea in waist deep water and were seen braving the waves and heat in a unique imitation of  the protests in Madhya Pradesh.

The Coast Guard is carrying out sorties to ensure the protestors aren’t swept away because unlike Madhya Pradesh, the protestors will have to brave currents and waves as they protest.

Despite the police initially warning the protestors not to go into the sea, there has been no action taken to prevent them from doing so.

11:00 am Taking a cue from  the ‘Jal Satyagraha’ activists in Madhya Pradesh, opponents of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant have decided to stand in the sea off Idianthakarai coast today as a stepped-up form of agitation.

Sources in People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), which is spearheading the stir, said the agitators have put forward four demands – stoppage of the process of fuel-loading in KNPP, giving up of the plan to arrest anti-nuclear movement leaders, adequate compensation for those who suffered losses and release of those already taken into custody.

The agitators on Wednesday ended their 48-hour relay fast at Idinthakarai to protest the police action which saw them resorting to using teargas shells, besides conducting house-to-house searches.

Security forces had sealed almost the entire town housing the nuclear plant even as PMANE convenor S P Udayakumar remained elusive after a volte face on his surrender offer.

The forces allowed transportation of only essential commodities while clamping down on strangers.

The stepped-up security came as KNPP officials continued to make preparations for loading enriched uranium into the first reactor, expected to start in the next few days.

The current bout of intensified protests, including the failed bid to lay a siege to the plant, was launched by People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy to prevent loading of fuel for which regulatory authorities gave the approval recently.

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12.50 p.m. IBN LIVE

Kudankulam: 12:30 pm: The Kudankulam protestors have formed human chains in the sea and the number of people joining the protest in the sea is growing.

12:20 pm: MoS PMO V Narainasamy said the anti-Kudankulam plant protests were foreign-funded. “The Kudankulam protestors are foreign-funded. The state government is co-operating with us on maintaining law and order,” he said.

12:15 pm: Many more protestors joined hundreds of villagers in the ‘Jal Satyagraha’ against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.

12 noon: Kudankulam activist Jayashraj said the villagers will protest in sea water every day and that they were ready to die for stooping the operations at the nuclear power plant.

The villagers protesting against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant have entered sea water and have started a ‘Jal Satyagraha’ demanding the loading of uranium fuel in the reactors be stopped. The loading of the fuel is set to begin on Thursday.

There was less police presence in the are where hundreds of villagers entered the sea. However, coastguards were carrying out an aerial surveillance in the area. The protestors also raised black flags and slogans in water.

Sources in People’s Movement of Nuclear Energy (PMANE), which is spearheading the stir, said the agitators have put forward four demands – stoppage of the process of fuel-loading in KNPP, giving up of the plan to arrest anti-nuclear movement leaders, adequate compensation for those who suffered losses and release of those already taken into custody.

Meanwhile, lawyer Prashant Bhushan’s plea for an immediate stay on the plant’s operation is also set to come up for hearing in the Supreme Court on Thursday.

Earlier on Wednesday, fierce clashes took place between the police and protestors while villagers accused securitymen of looting and destroying their homes. Activist Arvind Kejriwal, too, was at the protest site.

Arvind Kejriwal claimed the police destroyed 40 boats of fishermen. “The police is ransacking the houses of the people living here. 40 boats of poor fishermen have been destroyed by the policemen. This is not maintaining law and order. I request the police to be more humane,” Kejriwal said.

Demanding a public debate on the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, Kejriwal said, “Let all the papers be made public and there be a public debate on whether the plant is safe for the people. If it is proved that the plant is safe, then let the plant open and if it is unsafe, let it be shut. We demand the poor not be charged. Let the government be transparent.”

Kejriwal also suggested protest leader SP Udayakumar not to surrender. “I met Udayakumar. I have suggested him not to surrender and we should offer him the best legal support. He is doing a very good job.”

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11.00 a.m. Dialogue on Nukes –

Latest from Koodankulam: Jal Satyagraha starts in Idinthakarai

People have started walking towards the sea. In large numbers, they will stand in the sea whole day. 
Intimidation and terror continues in the villages. The Police in last 3 days have destroyed several boats, bikes, houses…Koodankulam fishermen have been relatively better off. Through their traditional occupation, they earn at least thrice as much daily as they would earn if they join Manmohan Singh’s shinning India and its job guarantee scheme…deliberately, the state is destroying their sources of sustenance.

More than 80 people still in jail, including several women. Injured people not able to to go hospitals in the fear of being attacked on the way. A person accompanying his friend on his way to hospital was beaten up yesterday. Food and water supply remains a problem.
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x. IDINTHAKARAI, KOODANKULAM UPDATE – 12 SEPTEMBER 2012

From Nityanand Jayaraman – Update 730 p.m.

Based on my conversations with Amirtharaj Stephen, independent photographer currently working out of Idinthakarai.

The day started with Arvind Kejriwal visiting with Udayakumar early in the morning. A press conference was organised. All media was present. Khejriwal laid the blame for the current violence and the death of the fisherman squarely on UPA and Jayalalithaa. He said that this was an instance of state sponsored terror over its own people. He also suggested that corruption and deal-making could be a reason why nuclear power was being pushed despite the intense opposition to it. He pointed out that people opposed to nuclear power were not opposed to development.Arvind Kejriwal visited Tsunami Colony where houses were vandalised by the police forces. With media in tow, Kejriwal saw damaged houses, destroyed boats and bikes, televisions and refrigerators broken. In Tsunami Nagar, the following houses were seen to have been damaged: House Nos. 12, 13, 14, 15, 36 and 48.From one house, Rs. 20,000 and 40 grams (8 pouns) of gold was burgled by the police. In another house, the woman had left her sick husband behind. Hearing the police’s intimidatory knocks on the door, the old man hid behind the refrigerator. The police broke open the door, entered his room, looked around but did not find him. One policeman reportedly saw a bottle of water and drank of it. The water was salty. The old man’s wife said the police man said “Just wait. These guys won’t even have this salty water to drink in a few days.”Kejriwal proceeded to the Koodankulam P.S. At the police station, he was allowed in, but the media was blocked. But the suspense turned out to be an anti-climax as Kejriwal returned to report that the police station was empty.

In the afternoon, after Mr. Arvind Kejriwal’s departure, members of Muslim party SDPI arrived and offered their solidarity to the Koodankulam protestors. Vaiko, General Secretary of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (a political party that has supported the struggle from the start) also came, and Mai Pa Jesuraj recounted the details of the events of the last two days. Vaiko condemned the state government.

In Vairavu Kinaru village, Kejriwal visited the home of Rajakumaran, a 16 year old ITI student who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The police were on their house-to-house check. They reached his house and demanded to know if there were any men around. Hearing the noise, Rajakumar who was feeding his pigeons on the rooftop looked over the wall. The police picked him up and packed him off reportedly to Vellore Central Jail. 

The priest and fisherfolk from Kanyakumari visited to lend their support to the struggle.

People then observed a 2-minute silent tribute to Anthony Samy of Manappad, who had lost his life to police bullets.

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People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy – Press Release September 12, 2012

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forwarded by Nityanand – Please watch tonight: 

This evening (Wednesday , Sep. 12 th.) from 8.15 PM to 8.45 PM there is a discussion on the Kudankulam protests on NDTV 24×7 channel. NDTV also plans to cover protests at dam projects. (I told NDTV to invite Medha to be part of the panel , but do not know whether they have done so.) I will be in that discussion panel , and so also will be Aruna Roy and Renuka Chowdhury of Congress (I). Please circulate this mail to everyone in your full E-mail circulation lists for their information . Thanks — Dr.A.Gopalakrishnan , Former Chairman , Atomic Energy Regulatory Board.

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A comprehensive book on India’s Atomic Energy establishment

Kudankulam: A Brief Summary of the Issues Involved

5.00 p.m. by Suvrat Raju, Physicist. 

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03.57 p.m. UDPATE (from Nityanand Jayaraman) 

Received this from Arundhati Roy, by sms, since she was unable to attend the meeting held in New Delhi today.

“I stand in complete solidarity with the villagers of Idinthakarai who are resisting the fuel loading of the Koodankulam nuclear reactor. I happened to be in Japan in March 2011 when the earthquake damaged the Fukushima reactor. After the disaster, almost every country that uses nuclear energy declared that it would change its policy. Every country, except India. Our Government has shown itself incapable of even being able to dispose day to day garbage, leave alone industrial effluent or urban sewage. How does it dare to say that it knows how to deal with nuclear waste? And that nuclear reactors in India are safe? We know how the Government has colluded with Union Carbide (now Dow Chemicals) to ensure that the victims of the Bhopal Gas Leak will never get justice. But no amount of compensation can ever right a nuclear disaster. I do believe that what is being done in Koodankulam in the name of Development is a crime.”— Arundhati Roy

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A Letter from the Women of Koodankulam

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9.10 a.m. (from Dialogue on Nukes) –

Koodankulam: M G Devahasayam after talking to Dr. S P Udayakumar –

“The police provoked the people. Actually the three officers in charge of the situation –the DIG, the SP and the Collector – showed a lot of restraint. The people were sitting quietly. It was IG (Southern Range) Rajesh Das who landed up out of nowhere, gave the protestors 10 minutes to disperse and when they refused, started a lathi charge. The people threw pebbles and pieces of wood at the police – that’s all they had with them. The men jumped into the sea; the women could not and were beaten up. This IG is the same man responsible for the unprovoked firing on Dalits at Paramakudi last year (11th September) causing the death of seven innocent people. He is stated to be a drunkard, incompetent, not capable of handling sensitive situations and given to high handedness.”

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8.45 a.m. (fron Nityanand)

I spoke to Sagaya Initha, a resident of Tsunami Colony, ward councillor and a prominent activist in the local anti-nuclear movement. This is what she had to say:
“Last evening, I was at the Lourdu Matha church with the protest. The police entered Tsunami colony and went on a rampage. At least three houses have been badly damaged. Children’s ear-rings and other small jewellery have been stolen. The window panes in at least 25 houses have been destroyed. They have been beating up just about any youth that walks by. Two people were arrested. The cycle parked in front of my house is broken. But now, looking around me and seeing the extent of damage to other people’s property, I feel that my loss is not that significant. The police has opened cup-boards and almirahs and pulled out people’s clothes. Has the police department been instructed to loot our property? Are they police or dacoits?”

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8.00 a.m. – Dialogue on Nukes –

Latest from Koodankulam: 

8.00 am

3 women have been arrested on 10th morning as they ran into the sea after the tear gas was shelled. They are Xavieramma, Sundari and Selvi from idinthakarai. police lock up location unknown.

One lady from tsunami colony was arrested this morning.

Heavy police presence all over.
60 houses in tsunami colony broken up. Belongings thrown, almirahs destroyed. Many houses destroyed in Idinthakarai main village.
No drinking water. electric supply intermittent. Yesterday night no supply for 5 hours.
20 men who were hospitalised for injuries have been taken away by police.
65 men from koodankulam were arrested on the first day- there whereabouts still unknown .
State of fear continues.
Women, children and men in the samara pandal near church in idinthakarai- refusing to go home as police might take them away. Police occasional marching through village.
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x. IDINTHAKARAI, KOODANKULAM UPDATE – 11 SEPTEMBER 2012

11.40 p.m. Dialogue on Nukes – 

Latest from Koodankulam:
Arvind Kejriwal reached Idinthakarai late evening today and spoke to people in the village. He also addressed the media there. He requested Dr. S P Udayakumar not to surrender to the police as he is fighting for a just cause. He said the Anna movement is totally behind the Koodankulam struggle.
Arvind Kejriwal will be there tomorrow in Idinthakarai and further course of the movement will be discussed.
People are still intimidated by heavy police presence in the area. Fishermen from neighbouring villages supplied water to Idinthakarai today, that’s a relief.
Eminent lawyer Prashant Bhushan has filed an SLP on Koodankulam in the Supreme Court today.
Meanwhile, protests were observed in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu. The Chief Minister made a statement appealing to the people to stay calm, reassuring that the Koodankulam reactors are safe !

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11.38 p.m.
Arvind Kejriwal in Idinthakarai. 
he appealed to udayakumar not to surrender
amirtharaj stephen.

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Overturning Dr. S P Udayakumar’s decision today, the village people in Idinthakarai ensured that he doesn’t offer himself to be arrested by the police. They have vowed that the leading activists will be allowed to be arrested only after everybody else is. – Dianuke

People Defending Their Movement Leaders: Pictures from Koodankulam

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07. 40 p.m. Dialogue on Nukes –

Latest from Koodankulam: Arvind Kejriwal of India Against Corruption reaching Idinthakarai. The discussion is on to decide further course of the movement.
Dr. Udayakumar has been taken to a safe location by people, who were against his move to offer himself for arrest. People are resolute to fight and they have vowed that police can arrest their leaders only after everybody else is arrested. 
Idinthakarai and other villages are still intimidated due to heavy police presence on all sides.

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06.30 p.m. (Nityanand, Chennai Solidarity Group) –

In Idinthakarai today, Udayakumar, Pushparayan and other leaders refused to back down from their decision to get themselves arrested. The gathering turned highly emotional without people weeping and wailing. All of a sudden, a group of youth from the village entered the scene and bodily lifted the leaders and whisked them away through the sea route to an unknown location. The people are insistent that this is their struggle, and individuals cannot be singled out for arrest. “Udayakumar and Pushparayan are not instigating us. We are well aware of the consequences of a nuclear power plant. We are not idiots. If the police wants to arrest somebody for this belief, let them arrest all of us.”

The people have categorically stated that the police and the Government are without honour. “We are concerned that the police will harm Udayakumar or Pushparayan if they turn themselves in,” said Sagaya Initha, a resident of the Tsunami colony, ward councillor and a prominent anti-nuclear activist.

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Speech by S P Udhayakumar, in Idinthakarai (shared by Amudhan)

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Koodankulam: Former Power Secretary’s Letter to the PM

DiaNuke Documents: Special Leave Petition on Koodankulam filed in Supreme Court

The Office for Justice, Peace and Development Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India Press Release: Stop Police Atrocities on Peaceful Protesters against Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant

Mahashweta Devi, Aruna Roy, Vandana Shiva and other Eminent Citizens Urge CM Jayalalitha to stop fuel loading and repression in Koodankulam – click for TEXT

Bhopal Survivors condemn TN police brutalities against peaceful protestors & extend solidarity to those fighting against the Nuclear Plant

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o6.40 p.m. (Amudhan R P – status update)

People are not letting Udhayakumar and Rayan to surrender after a long meeting. They have taken the two to a safe place. Police surrounds the village of Idinthakarai.

To show solidarity to the people of Koodankulam anti nuclear movement we will have the following screenings in New Delhi. Kindly spread the word and do take part if possible in one of them or all of them!

13 Sept: JNU; 9 pm; Radiation Stories Part 3 : Koodankulam
14 Sep: Prava; 11 am; Radiation Stories Part 2 : Kalpakkam
14 Sep: YWCA; 4 pm; Radiation Stories Part 2: Kalpakkam & Radiation Stories Part 3: Koodankulam
15 Sep: Kriti Film Club; 5 pm.; Radiation Stories Part 3: Koodankulam

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06.00 p.m. (Nityanand, Chennai Solidarity Group) – IDINTHAKARAI UPDATE

All leaders — Mai Pa Jesuraj, Udayakumar, Pushparayan etc — are currently in Idinthakarai at the Lourdu Matha Church. A public meeting was in progress when I called, and Udayakumar was speaking. The villagers are not happy with Udayakumar’s announcement of courting arrest, and have said that they are prepared to face the police. They hav

e made it clear that the police has to first pass through them if they want to arrest the leaders of the struggle committee. A final decision on this is still pending.Meanwhile, police have entered and searched every house in Koodankulam village on the pretext of looking for four police personnel that they claim are missing. Villagers have roundly denied taking any hostages. According to local reports, police have been posted outside virtually every house in Koodankulam.
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04.30 p.m. Revathi Radhakrishnan (status update) –

S.P. Udayakumar, leader of the anti KKNPP struggle to hunt whom the Tamilnadu police has unleashed a regime of police terror in and around Koodankulam, using the Coast Guard ships on the Sea, police, strike force and para military all around the fisher villages – is back at the lourde matha church at idinthakarai.

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3.48 p.m.

Photo of aerial patrolling in Idinthakarai village, Koodankulam (sent just now by Amirtharaj Stephen) shared by Dialogue on Nukes

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3.12 p.m. Dialogue on Nukes – 

Latest from Koodankulam: 
People in the meeting at Idinthakarai village have decided that Dr. S P Udayakumar should not surrender before the police. Fearing more crackdown on innocent people in bid to arrest him, Dr. Udayakumar had offered to court arrest today. 
The govt has slapped sedition and other serious charges against Dr. Udayakumar for leading the peaceful Koodankulam struggle. 

A Master in Peace Studies (from USA) and PhD in Political Science, Dr. Udayakumar is a humble social activist in whose leadership people across communities, castes and religions have come together to defend their lives and livelihoods. But the government thinks he has brainwashed the local community, something that millions of rupees spent by the NPCIL in public relations couldn’t do!

here are more details about him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._P._Udayakumar
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Revathi Radhakrishan (status updates) –

2.21 p.m. More than 5 Coast guard ships stand at the Idinthakarai coast. A huge police posse came in 7 buses into idinthakarai upto the West Busstop in Idinthakarai and have gone back now.

2.20 p.m. Nasaran from Idinthakarai who accompanied another person with a sick child to go to the hospital through Tsunami colony were stopped by police and arrested.

1.20 p.m. Fisherfolk of Tamilnadu gather in solidarity with the protesters at idinthakarai. The fast site at the Pani maya matha church in tuticorin is becoming the centre point of fisherfolk solidarity.

1.18 p.m. People from Idinthakarai say that the navy is at the Sea and air patrolling which has been on from yesterday is flying real low on Idinthakarai today intimidating thousands of protesters gathered at the Lourde Matha church in Idinthakarai.

1.15 p.m. Condemning police brutality on the anti koodankulam protesters in idinthakarai activists from many political parties and people’s movements staged a road block on Anna Salai today. More than 200 people were arrested.

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(click on images in response)

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1.25 p.m. (Dialogue on Nukes)

From IdinthakaraI:

Meeting of local people underway at the Church. They are against Dr. Udayakumar’s decision to surrender this evening.
Meanwhile, sea and land patrolling in the area has intensified. Just now a plane flied at a very low height, provoking panic in the gathered people.

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12.50 p.m. 

Dialogue on Nukes – 

Latest from Koodankulam:

Police tired to enter the Idintakarai village. Reached upto the entrance of the village and went back. It’s a deliberate attempt to provoke and intimidate people. This must stop.

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10.30 a.m. 

Geeta Charusivam writes:

Today, a road roko in Chennai city, (At Anna Statue on Anna Salai, near new TN Assembly building) was organised by many political parties and social organisations including ….. MDMK, Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, Dravidar Vidudhai Iyakkam, Makkal Mandram, Tamizhaga Vazhurimai Katchi, SDPI, Save Tamils Movement and several other organizations. This Road Roko was to protest the state government’s deliberate coercive tactics against the anti-KKNPP agitation and severe repression on the people of the area.

The protesters has assembled at 10. AM. And the news that I got right now is that police lathicharged the demonstrators, specifically targeted leaders and youth and physically attacked them. Will keep you all updated as soon as I have more news.

In solidarity
Geeta

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ANIVAR ARVIND UPDATES US ON PROTESTS IN KERALA

Protests on 10 September, 2012
Calicut Public Libraray Near Mananchira 5;30 PM
Thrissur Sahitya Academy 5 pm
Kannur Near Bus Stand 5:30 pm
Payyannoor Near Gandhi Park 5:30 pm

Protest Today
Trivandrum Secratariat Statue Sep 11th 11 am

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10.00 a.m.

Given the large number of conflicting reports that have been making the rounds, a few of us — informed by reliable local sources — have attempted to reconstruct the events leading up to the current situation based on confirmed information. Information, where unconfirmed, is indicated.

Based on eye-witness reports by Amrithraj Stephen, interviews by Nityanand Jayaraman, Revathi and Amritharaj, and updates and articles published on internet. 

click link below to read – 

Confirmed Updates: 11 September 2012. 10.00 a.m.

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The police is planning to attack Idinthakarai village. Now that Dr. udayakuamar has declared that he will court arrest to avoid major crackdown on common people, police must exercise restraint and must not terrorize people.

Please call the officers and ask them to stop atrocity.

Collector, Tirunelveli, 9444185000
DIG, Tirunelveli, 91-9840970530
SP, Tirunelveli, 91-9940193494
DSP, Vallioor, 91-9443554585
Koodankulam Police, 91-4637-250150.
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10.35 a.m. Dialogue on Nukes – 
Koodankulam update: Just spoke to Dr. S P udayakumar.
The police is spreading rumours that Idinthakarai villagers have held 5 polce personnel hostage, including 2 officers. The villagers are apprehensive of major police crackdown.
To avoid this, Dr. Udayakumar has decided to court arrest this evening at 9 pm. 
More than 100 fictitious police cases are held against Dr. Udayakumar, including sedition, war against the Indian state etc. If arrested, the govt put him in jail for long time like Dr. Binayak Sen. 
People in Idinthakarai and other villages are opposed to this idea and they are having a meeting to discuss their course of action.
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We should do everything we can for Koodankulam. 
Please organise protests in your cities. Walk with black batches, put posters wherever possible, write letters to editors, sign petitions. 
It is high time we organise effective and simultaneous protests wherever we are. We must have a network of Koodankulam solidarity groups now. 
Somebody just asked me what she could do personally, and i didnt really have any suggestion. I think we are lacking an effective but flexible network and an imaginative concerted mode of resistance that could spread.
We must think of some PEACEFUL and CONCERTED action. 
We have been confined in our own areas…we need to act unitedly. And if we act unitedly, peacefully, we need not really worry too much about other things…
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Dialogue on Nukes – 
12.20 a.m. Update from a journalist friend:
“Amid unsubstantiated rumors of police attack in Idinthakarai at mid-night, i called the DIG Thirunelveli to confirm.
A male voice picked up the phone and said no, everything is under control. When i asked about how many people are arrested today, he said 25. For attacking the police!
I asked a few more details, which he didnt answer and disconnected the phone.
May be they don’t expect the journos to ask anything more than the police’s press statements.”
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Photographs from Idinthakarai, Koodankulam 09 and 10 September 2012

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Read on Dianuke.org – 

PUCL Statement against Police Atrocity in Koodankulam

Xavieramma of Koodankulam: We will fight, Akka!

Koodankulam is being choked, we must do everything we can

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IDINTHAKARAI, KOODANKULAM UPDATE – 10 SEPTEMBER 2012

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Dialogue on Nukes – 

10.30 pm (update by Muthu Krishnan)

The protestors spent the whole night at the seashore amidst the chilling breeze, the morning was a very new day in the history of this peaceful fast that has been taking place for more than 400 days. Police has been attacking unarmed villagers who were there to continue their fast on the beach – 500 meters away from the KKNPP against the loading of uranium in the reactor.

The Madras High Court had last week let down the protesting people by giving nod for functioning of the reactor in a case where deliberations went for months on the temperature levels of effluents to be released into the sea. The Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board had first mentioned as 45 degrees Celsius as the temperature of the effluents and later like a roadside bargain tinkered the report and submitted as 37 degrees Celsius without any scientific methodologies to mention.

We have reports of violence of the State Machinery spreading to more villages so far more than 60 people have been arrested and firing of tear gas shells and lathi charge is still on since morning. One girl child was trampled to death by the merciless boots of the khaki clad men. Protests in support of the anti-nuclear protestors has been spreading from Kanyakumari to Rameshwaram through out the coast of Tamilnadu. There has been also news of protest pouring in from Chennai to Delhi. Many people have been arrested in various cities.

Police had opened fire on Dr. S.P. Udayakumar the convenor of PNAME, he along with fellow protestors had escaped by lying on the ground and they managed to escape the brutal plans of the intimidating police force. The Police have entered the Idindakarai village for the first time since this protest has begun last year. They have been knocking every other door searching for the leaders. They have been publicly announcing all the households to push Udayakumar out to the streets and not provide shelter to any of the leaders. They have been conducting a search raid in all the houses. They have been also announcing that if Udayakumar was found in any of the houses, the whole family would be encountered to death.

This is very clear that the Govt and its brutal force is not ready to arrest Dr.S.P.Udayakumar, but have orders to kill him at sight. Just some minutes ago Anthonysamy a fishermen from Tutucorin was shot dead by the police. More news is pouring in, More news that chilling the heart, Many of the injured are still caught in the cross fire with no first aid reaching them, they are hungry and thirst with just rubber bullets to eat and tear gas to breath.

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10.00 p.m.
Dialogue on Nukes –
Koodankulam: While the people are resolute to continue the struggle peacefuly, the police atrocities continue in the whole area unabated. Police ransacked houses in Indithakarai village, searching for the leading activists.Its a chaotic night in Koodankulam. The police has cut down the supply and communication lines in the villages, hence they are not in touch with each other. Leading activists are surrounded by masses to avoid arrest.

Anthony Samy, a fisherman, was shot in his stomach at Manapadu village by the police and was matyred. Although it is hard to ascertain total losses today, at least 50 people have been badly beaten, 7 of whom are serioussly injured. People in surrounding villages are in shock at this treatment by the govt.

14 people have started hunger strike at the Idinthakarai Church.

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08.00 p.m. 

May17 Coordinator Comrade Thirumurugan Gandhi, and the two who had been arrested with them have been released after around seven hours interrogation at around 8.00 p.m.

May17 ஒருங்கிணைப்பாளர் தோழர் திருமுருகன் காந்தி மற்றும் அவருடன் கைது செய்யப்பட்ட இருவரும் விடுவிப்பு…ஏழு மணி நேர விசாரணைக்கு பின் இரவு 8 மணிக்கு விடுவிக்கப்பட்டனர்…

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what is ‘excessive’ and ‘not’ excessive’ force? 
Amnesty International press release – 

Police in India must ensure they do not use excessive force against individuals protesting the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu, Amnesty International said today.

It was this morning that police confronted protesters who had gathered close to the site of the power plant, firing tear gas shells and beating protesters with lathis (batons). In response, it is reported that protestors threw sand and stones at the police.

“The Indian authorities should exercise restraint and ensure that the police response does not amount to excessive use of force”, said Ananth Guruswamy, Amnesty International India’s Country Director.

Protests against the Kudankulam plant in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu first began in March this year, and have been based in the village of Idinthakarai. Demonstrations have intensified over the past two days with fuelling of the plant set to start on 11 September.

Protestors are demanding that the fuelling is stopped and that a police-imposed curfew on local villages be lifted.

Reports suggest that three women protestors have been arrested by the police, one of whom has been arrested on charges of sedition. The two leaders of the protest movement have currently been taken to a undisclosed location, after villagers reportedly formed a human shield around them when police tried to arrest them.

Protests are still ongoing, and Amnesty International has received information that police has entered Idinthakarai, with violence reported from both police and protesters.

“We ask the police to release those individuals who have been arrested on apparently false charges and simply for exercising their right to peaceful political protest,” said Ananth Guruswamy. “Any reports of the excessive use of force by the police must be promptly investigated”.

Amnesty International reminds state authorities that any use of force by the police must be in compliance with international standards for the protection of the right to life and security of person, including the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.

Police may resort to force only if other means are ineffective, and must only use such force as is proportionate to legitimate objectives.

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For more information please call lead researcher on India, Ramesh Gopalakrishnan at 09544505123, or email him at ramesh.gopalakrishnan@amnesty.org

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Here are the police officers’ numbers; please ask them not to harass people, intimidate them; or incite violence against unarmed civilians and nonviolent fighters including thousands of children and women:

Collector, Tirunelveli, 9444185000
DIG, Tirunelveli, 91-9840970530
SP, Tirunelveli, 91-9940193494
DSP, Vallioor, 91-9443554585
Koodankulam Police, 91-4637-250150.

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07.30 p. m.

“#in solidarity with people’s struggle against koodankulam nuclear power plant, all movements in Tamil Nadu are staging a road block tmrw in chennai… everyone who respects people’s life and rights are most welcome to join the block and express their solidarity #”

நாளை தமிழகமெங்கும் சாலை மறியல் –
அணுஉலைக்கு எதிரான அனைத்துக் கட்சியினர் முடிவு..!
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கூடங்குளம் அணுஉலையை எதிர்த்து அறவழியில் போராடிய மக்கள் மீது கொடுந்தாக்குதலை ஏவி, 3 மாத பச்சிளம் குழந்தை உள்ளிட்ட பலரையும் பலிவாங்கிய காவல்துறையைக் கண்டித்தும், கூடங்குளம் அணுஉலையில் எரிபொருள் நிரப்பக் கூடாதென வலியுறுத்தியும் நாளை தமிழகமெங்
கும் சாலை மறியல் நடத்த அணுஉலைக்கு எதிரான அனைத்துக் கட்சியினர் முடிவு செய்துள்ளனர்.

இடிந்தகரை மக்கள் மீதானத் தாக்குதலைத் தொடர்ந்து, இன்று மதியம் 2 மணிளவில் சென்னை ம.தி.மு.க. தலைமை அலுவலகமான தாயகத்தில் அணுஉலைக்கு எதிரான அனைத்துக் கட்சியினரின் அவசரக் கூட்டம் நடைபெற்றது.இதில், ம.திமு.க. துணைப் பொதுச் செயலாளர் மல்லை சத்யா, தமிழ்த் தேசப் பொதுவுடைமைக் கட்சித் தலைவர் தோழர் பெ.மணியரசன், திராவிடர் விடுதலைக் கழகத் தலைவர் தோழர் தா.செ.கொளத்தூர் மணி, தமிழக வாழ்வுரிமைக் கட்சித் தலைவர் பண்ருட்டி வேல்முருகன், தமிழ்நாடு மக்கள் கட்சி ஒருங்கிணைப்பாளர் தோழர் அருண்சோரி மற்றும் காஞ்சி மக்கள் மன்றம், சேவ் தமிழ்ஸ் இயக்கம் உள்ளிட்ட பல்வேறு அமைப்புப் பிரதிநிதிகளும் கலந்து கொண்டனர்.கூட்டத்தில், இடிந்தகரை நிலைமை குறித்து விவாதிக்கப்பட்டது. மே பதினேழு இயக்க ஒருங்கிணைப்பாளர் தோழர் திருமுருகன் கைதிற்கு கண்டனம் தெரிவிக்கப்பட்டது.கூட்டத்தின் முடிவில், சென்னையில், நாளை காலை 9 மணியளவில் அண்ணா சிலை முன்பு மறியல் போராட்டம் நடத்துவது என்றும், தமிழக மாவட்டத் தலைநகரங்களில் இதே போன்று மறியல் நடத்துவது என்றும் ஒருமனதாக முடிவெடுக்கப்பட்டது.நாளை காலை சென்னையில் நடைபெறும் மறியல் போராட்டத்திலும், அந்தந்த மாவட்டங்களில் நடைபெறுகின்ற போராட்டங்களிலும் தமிழ்த் தேசப் பொதுவுடைமைக் கட்சித் தோழர்களும், தமிழ் உணர்வாளர்களும், மனித நேய சக்திகளும் தவறாமல் கலந்து கொள்ள வேண்டுமென வேண்டிக் கேட்டுக் கொள்கிறோம்.கூடங்குளம் மக்கள் போராட்டத்திற்குத் துணை நிற்போம்! காவல்துறை வெறியாட்டத்துக்கு முற்றுப்புள்ளி வைப்போம்! கரம் கோப்போம்!- தலைமைச் செயலகம்,
தமிழ்த் தேசப் பொதுவுடைமைக் கட்சி.
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06.37 p.m. – Police on a rampage in Idinthakarai. They continue to attack, loot and destroy the Idinthakarai Tsunami Housing Colony. Amudhan R P status update

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06.00 p.m. Villagers in Idinthakarai have begun a 48 hour fast against the police atrocities today in Idinthakarai and the nuclear power plant in Koodankulam.

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05. 50 p.m. – Antonysamy (45) an anti nuke protester – a fisherman – shot dead in a police firing in Manapad near Thoothukudi. It is confirmed. Amudhan R P status update

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 A few moments before the storm at the anti-nuclear march in Koodankulam today –

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02. 54 p.m. போலீசின் துப்பாக்கி குண்டுக்கு எதிராக மண்ணை அள்ளித் தூற்றுகின்றனர் மக்கள். அதனை அனைத்து ஊடகங்களும் வன்முறை என்கின்றது. Prabakar Kappikuam status update.

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02.43 p.m. இடிந்தகரை போராட்டப் பந்தலை பிய்தெறிந்தது போலீஸ். Prabakar Kappikulam status update.
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02:20 p.m. Koodankulam Update – News from the ground:
Sahaya Initha, councilor got severely injured.
Shelson was injured in the throat and got admitted along with Antony in the Idinthakarai hospital.
Kennedy had his hand broken.
Several children got fainted due to the tear gas used by the police.
Children who took shelter in the school was surrounded by the police.
50 ppl stranded in a single house fearing the police.
Police threw the water cans near the church and urinated in the church. 
This information was given by a person who is one among the fifty stranded inside a house.
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02:05 p.m. Koodankulam Update – News from the ground:
Selsun hurt in the throat because of tear gas bomb hit; hospitalised along with another- Antony. Raj hurt in the leg. Cloudin hurt badly. Kennedy’s arm twisted. Sahayaenitha from DMDK hurt badly.
Several children fainting because of tear gas. 
Police urinating in the water tank in front of the church.
15 people hiding in one house, police waiting outside; police have locked children up inside school – not letting them come out
People are throwing stones at police, police throwing tear gas bombs.
Police have surrounded the church.
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1: 51 p.m.
There is news from Idinthakarai that Mildred (who has sedition charges against her), Sundari and Xavier, all three women, have been arrested. There is no information as to the exact numbers of others who have been arrested. There is also news from the protestors that the police is firing into the air and also breaking doors in the village. Find out what is happening. Call the COllector of TIrunelveli, Selvaraj – 9444185000 and DIG Tirunelveli – 9840970530 and ask them as to how many people have been arrested. Chennai Solidarity Group. 
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1: 15 p.m.
Police have used force and taken away Thirumurugan of MAY 17 movement from the nandanam arts college campus where students were protesting against Police brutality on the Koodankulam protesters. We don’t know where he’s been taken to yet… Revathi Radhakrishnan status update.
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1: 37 p.m. Protests spread across the state of Tamilnadu. Fishing community of Tuticorin and Kanyakumari start their protests against the Koodankulam project.

1: 32 p.m. இடிந்தகரை கிராமத்திற்குள் போலீஸ் நுழைந்தது. நூற்றுக்கணக்கான பெண்கள் குழந்தைகளுடன் தேவாலயத்திற்குள் தஞ்சமடைந்து விட்டனர். ஆயிரக்கணக்கில் போலீஸ் வெளியே சுற்றி வளைத்தது. இது மாதிரியான சூழலில் மிகவும் மோசமான மனித உரிமை மீறல் நடக்க வாய்ப்பு இருக்கிறது. பெருமணல், குண்டுபட்டி, கொடியன்குளம், பரமக்குடி போன்ற முந்தைய நிகழ்வுகளில் அகப்பட்டவர்களை எல்லாம் அடித்து உதைத்து, சித்ரவதை செய்து, பொருட்களை கொள்ளை அடித்து சேதப்படுத்தியிருக்கின்றனர். பெண்கள் மானபங்கப் படுத்தப்பட்டிருக்கின்றனர். எச்சரிக்கை நடவடிக்கைகளை நாம் மேற்கொள்ளவேண்டும்.

1:25 p.m. Hundreds of women and children are talking refuge in the Idinthakarai church. Police are standing outside the church. Anything can happen anytime. Let us alert the supporters!

1: 18 p.m. Police are in Idinthakarai village. People are not able to enter their village. There have been many instances in independent India where police entering a village and ransacking and looting properties, attacking, torturing and humiliating who ever is caught. It is almost like revenge by the police on people. We don’t know what is happening in Idinthakarai village.

1:05 p.m. Media persons also attacked! Times Now and Indian Express media persons attacked! Camera broken! photographer pushed into the sea!

1:00 p.m.. Now the supporters of Koodankulam struggle in Chennai arrested! No one should protest anywhere in Tamilnadu, it seems.

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Dialogue on Nukes (dianuke.org) – Status updates –

1:51 p.m. 5 people injured in police violence in Koodankulam. Police reportedly entering Idinthakarai village. Media persons also beaten up by the police and prevented from reporting.

Please Join Protest in New Delhi to condemn police atrocity in Koodankulam. 3 pm, Tamil Nadu Bhawan, Kautilya Marg, Chanakyapuri.

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Please call the state commission for women and ask them about the plight of the women and children in Koodankulam. Ask them how unarmed women and children could be attacked by the police. Ask them what action the women’s commission has taken to make sure that the children and women are safe. 

Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women

Ground Floor, Agriculture Office Building, Chepauk, Chennai – 600 005

Phone:  044 – 28592750. Chairperson – Tmt  Saraswathi Rangasamy. 28551155

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Koodankulam: Several people injured in police’s indiscriminate baton-charge. Old people, children, women, running towards the sea. 

Please call/fax/email the Collector office of District Collector of Tirunelveli Dr R. Selvaraj at the following coordinates:

Phone: 0462-2500828 (O)

0462-2577655, 2577983 (R)
Fax: 0462-2500244E-Mail: collrtnv@nic.in
Please also call Tamil Nadu’s Chief Secretary Thiru Debendranath Sarangi at the following address: Chief Secretary to Govt
Secretariat, Chennai – 600 009
Phone : 25671555 (O)
Fax : 25672304
E-Mail : cs@tn.gov.in
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11. 41 a.m. –

Latthi charge and tear gas shells being lobbed. People running towards sea. Hemmed in between armed police and the sea.

A friend from Koodankulam siege site called a few minutes ago. He confirmed that forces had not just moved in, but also conducted a preliminary and tentative lathi charge. The people refused to yield, and the forces withdrew. “The situation is back to normal,” according to my informant, if what prevailed before the lathi charge could be considered normal. There is a larger congregation of forces,

mostly wielding lathis. A large riot-gear bedecked police force is in the frontline facing the people, and tear gas lobbers are apparently on stand-by.In Chennai, a mass RTI campaign invoking the Life and Liberty clause is being planned at the NPCIL office at No. 51 Montieth Road, Egmore, Chennai 8, at 3 p.m. (click to view details)
(Nityanand, Chennai Solidarity Group)
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Photographs from Green Peace India. Status Update – Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project – A people’s protest against the loading of nuclear fuel takes a turn as police baton charge and tear gas protesters who do not want the nuclear plant because of fears to life and livelihood. The protests have been going on for many years and have grown stronger after the Fukushima nuclear meltdown last year in Japan.
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The Koodankulam movement has reached a crucial stage. The people hoodwinked  the police and managed to reach within 500 m from the plant where they have been sitting on a dharna since  yesterday. The police at first did not know how to tackle the unexpected situation, but now they have started their offensive to try and intimidate the people and crush their movement. The news is that they are pushing people towards the sea by lobbying tear gas, doing a lathi charge, using water cannons.

The Indian state has become thoroughly anti-people, it is waging a war on its own people to benefit foreign and Indian giant private corporations. We need to unite our efforts to build a powerful all-India movement. Or else people in Khandwa will sit alone in the water for the last 15 days, the people fighting displacement will fight their isolated battles, and so on; winning isolated struggles is going to be difficult against the giant repressive machinery of the state.

in solidarity, Neeraj Jain, Lokayat Pune

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Dianuke – (click on image for article)

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x. IDINTHAKARAI, KOODANKULAM UPDATE – 09 SEPTEMBER 2012 (click to view photographs)

S P Udhayakumar’s Letter –

அன்பார்ந்தத் தமிழ் சொந்தங்களே:

முற்றுகைப் போராட்டத்துக்கு அணியமாகிக் கொண்டிருக்கிறோம். திருநெல்வேலி மாவட்ட ஆட்சித் தலைவர் சற்று முன் வெளியிட்டிருக்கும் ஒரு பத்திரிக்கைச் செய்தியில் “அசம்பாவிதம் ஏதும் ஏற்பட்டால் அதற்கு அணுஉலை எதிர்ப்பு போராட்டக்குழு ஒருங்கிணைப்பாளரே முழு பொறுப்பு ஏற்க நேரிடும்” என்று தெரிவித்திருக்கிறார்.

தி-லி மாவட்டத்தில் டெங்கு காய்ச்சலால் சுமார் அறுபது குழந்தைகள் அண்மையில் இற

ந்தார்கள். இதற்கு யார் பொறுப்பேற்றார்கள்? சிவகாசியில் சுமார் நாற்பது பேர் கருகிச் செத்திருக்கிறார்களே? இதற்கு யார் பொறுப்பேற்றார்கள்? இந்தியாவிலுள்ள அணுமின் நிலையங்களில் விபத்து ஏற்பட்டால் ‘நான் பொறுப்பு’ என்று ஆட்சித் தலைவரோ அல்லது அரசியல் தலைவர்களோ, அதிகாரிகளோ பொறுப்பேற்கிறார்களா?”பொறுப்பு ஏற்பது” என்பது ஒரு சிறந்த ஆளுமைச் சித்தாந்தம். பிரதமரிலிருந்து ப்யூன் வரை யாருக்குமே கிடையாதே இந்த நாட்டில். இந்த இழிநிலைக்கு என்ன பதில்?பல்லாயிரகணக்கான மக்கள் குடும்பங்களுடன், குழந்தைகளுடன் தெருவில் கிடக்கப் போகிறோம். எங்களுக்கு, எங்கள் வாழ்வாதாரத்திற்கு, வாழ்வுரிமைக்கு, பாதுகாப்புக்கு, எதிர்காலத்துக்கு, அருமைத் தமிழ் சொந்தங்களே, தமிழ் ரத்தம் ஓடுகிற உடன்பிறப்புக்களே, நீங்கள்தான் பொறுப்பு. விரைந்து வாருங்கள் இடிந்தகரைக்கு. ஆதரவுக் கரம் நீட்டுங்கள் நம் அனைவரின் ஒட்டுமொத்த விடியலுக்கு. வணக்கம்.அன்புடன்,
சுப. உதயகுமாரன்
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2:33 pm – Nity just spoke to a protester who’s at the siege site (east end wall of the nuke plant) on Idinthakarai seashore. There are atleast 8000 people at the siege site now facing severe weather. Drinking water is not available at the site but arrangements are being made to arrange for the same.    The protesters seek the support of all groups and organisations to organise solidarity events and meetings all over India.

12:48 pm – Tirunelveli SP Vijeyandra Bidari has reached the spot. The police are right next to the protesters now. Protesters say that the SP is making some announcement on the megaphone but they are not able to hear anything

12:30 pm – Thousand people from Periya thaalai village who were on their way to Idinthakarai were stopped by the police. The people are now on their way to attend a hunger protest held in Pani maya madha church in Tuticorin. Fishermen from Tuticorin are already on a hunger protest at the church. The police is not allowing protestors to head towards Idinthakarai to participate in the protest.

(CHENNAI SOLIDARITY GROUP)

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x. UPDATE – 08 September 2012

(from Nityanand Jayaraman)

Just spoke to Udayakumar who says that the preparations underfoot in villages in and around Koodankulam are making it seem as if the State is waging war against the people. Idinthakarai is sealed off. People can neither get in or out of Idinthakarai. Villagers who were planning to congregate in Idinthakarai are now blocked off. This morning about 400 heavily armed police conducted a drill, including running and marching, near Tsunami Nagar. Media people are being used as friendly messengers to convey that the State will not hesitate to use force to quell any attempts by villagers to show resistance to the imminent fuel loading. Police are bunkered on all routes around the Idinthakarai village, with sand bags and assault rifles. This is in response to PMANE’s decision to march towards the nuclear power plant to pre-empt fuel loading.

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(photo from Sri Krishnan)

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x. Koodankulam Diary. December 31, 2011. vol xlvI no 53. EPW Economic & Political Weekly. By L Ramdas, Lalitha Ramdas. – A former chief of the naval staff and his wife spent a few days in early December with the people of Koodankulam and Idinthakarai in Tamil Nadu who are protesting against the giant nuclear power complex that is nearing completion. They have come away with answers to questions about what motivates the protestors – 80% of whom are women – to continue doggedly to oppose the plant. They have also come away with questions. Are these people being obstructionist, anti-national and waging a war against the State in wanting safe energy and development that does not endanger their lives and livelihoods? L Ramdas retired from the Indian navy as chief of the naval staff; L Ramdas and Lalita Ramdas now actively campaign for clean energy, against special economic zones and for a nuclear weapon-free world.

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x. Silent Emergency in Koodankulam. August 4, 2012. vol xlviI no 31. EPW Economic & Political Weekly. S Senthalir –  For the villagers around the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu who are agitating against its commissioning, it is as if they are facing a second Emergency, albeit a silent one. False cases have been slapped against them, their leaders have been charged with sedition and waging war against the government, prohibitory orders have been issued within a seven-km radius of the plant and the government continues to spread stories that the struggle is being funded by foreign sources. S Senthalir is an independent journalist based in Bangalore. 

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x. Scientists could soon be extracting nuclear fuel from seawater:

ScienceDaily (Aug. 21, 2012) — When you take a dip in the ocean, nuclear fuel is probably the farthest thing from your mind. Uranium floats in Earth’s oceans in trace amounts of just 3 parts per billion, but it adds up. Combined, our oceans hold up to 4.5 billion tons of uranium — enough to potentially fuel the world’s nuclear power plants for 6,500 years.

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x. Uranium Mining: Jaduguda, Jharkand is one of India’s largest uranium mines. Along with the mines in Meghalaya and Andhra Pradesh which contribute to a small extent, the Jaduguda mine supplies the bulk of the uranium needed for the ever increasing list of nuclear reactors in India. Anuj Wakhede writes more on the secrecy around Jaduguda and the greed of UCIL, NPCIL, DAE and Government of India for more and more yellow cake [A Nightmare Called Jaduguda by Anuj Wakhede. 02 August 2012. Dianuke]

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x. The Stream: Nuclear Nation. A social media community that aggregates online sources, seeking out unheard voices, and presents detailed debates on current world issues on Al Jazeera English. This episode discusses Why Japan is restarting its nuclear reactors despite widespread public outcry? with Charles Fergusson, the co-chair US-Japan Nuclear Working Group, and Aileen Mioko Smith, Executive Director of Green Action-

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x. 3Mile to Gorakhpur: A documentary on the proposed Gorakhpur Nuclear Power Project in Fatehabad, Haryana, India. 2012

3 Mile Island, Chernobyl and most recently Fukushima — the world is watching in horror the depth of the disaster that nuclear energy and power has become. However, the powerful nuclear lobby is refusing to give up their lobbying for newer nuclear plants. Despite these repeated disasters, attempts are on to convince the world population that nuclear accidents are only a rare occurrence.
‘3 Mile to Gorakhpur…’ is about a valiant struggle waged by some villages in Fatehabad District of Haryana against one such proposed nuclear park. A project that violates all existing norms for a nuclear power plant, it will be built in a region that has a population of more than 25,000 people and built with only a river canal providing the water for its cooling plant. What happens to the 1.5 km ‘exclusion zone’ and a further 5 km ‘sterile zone’? What will happen to the most fertile lands of Fatehabad?
A Film by Prabha Productions & Supported by Delhi Solidarity Group. Directed by Prem Piram.

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+ The Struggle Committee. People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy. 125 Days of Confinement. S. P. Udayakumar. Idinthakarai – July 22, 2012 – (from Nuclear Information and Resource Service)

July 21, 2012 marked the 125th day of my and Pushparayan’s self-exile here at Idinthakarai. We have not gone out of this coastal village for more than four months now except two brief visits to the neighboring Kuthenkuzhi village by sea. Rayan and I live in a quarter kilometer radius area. The southern border is the Bay of Bengal and the northern limit is the Lourde’s hospital. But most of the days, we walk only a few meters from the Parish Priest’s Bungalow to the relay fast staged on the front porch of the St. Lourdes Church and back.
All our comrades who were arrested and lodged in the jails of Cuddalore, Nanguneri and Tiruchirappalli have come back and resumed their routine life. Even Muhilan and Satish who were hounded and harassed by the Tamil Nadu police are out of jails now. But Rayan and I are still in. There are more than 270 cases against me and Rayan and I am the A1 (Accused 1) in almost all these cases. There are several ‘sedition’ and ‘waging war against the Indian State’ cases against us. If we go out of Idinthakarai, we could be arrested; even worse, our struggle could be ended by the authorities.
Ever since March 19, 2012, when the Tamil Nadu government changed its stand on the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) issue, we have been protected by the people, mostly women and children. They come in thousands and sleep around the Parish Priest’s Bungalow where Rayan and I stay and sleep. The youth of the village sleep on the outskirts of the village and keep vigil throughout night, and so do our women by going on incessant patrol around the Bungalow and the Church throughout night. Families from the neighboring villages such as Koodankulam also come for this security duty.
No chair, no position, no honor, and no title can be more gratifying and delightful than this spontaneous love and affection of the honest and hard-working men, women and children of our villages.
Of course, Rayan and I miss our families. We would love to go home and be with them and live our simple lives as we have always done. But here are thousands and thousands of families that are fighting for the well-being of the Tamil people and the rest of India. It is a real pleasure and sheer privilege to be the “servant leaders” of these struggling people who are making enormous sacrifice to preserve the natural resources, livelihood, and the futures of our people. I, for one, have no doubt whatsoever that these “ordinary citizens” will set in motion an extraordinary history for our Tamil Nadu and India.

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x. The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012  (6 July 2012) Summary by Mycle Schneider. 2012 and archived reports can be read online or downloaded as pdf in their website.

Twenty years after its first edition, the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012 portrays an industry suffering from the cumulative impacts of the world economic crisis, the Fukushima disaster, ferocious competitors and its own planning and management difficulties.

Key results of the assessment include:
• Only seven new reactors started up, while 19 were shut down in 2011. On 5 July 2012, one reactor was reconnected to the grid at Ohi in Japan and another unit is expected to generate power on the site within two weeks. However, it remains highly uncertain, how many others will receive permission to restart operations in Japan.
• Four countries announced that they will phase out nuclear power within a given timeframe.
• At least five countries have decided not to engage or re-engage in nuclear programs.
• In Bulgaria and Japan two reactors under construction were abandoned.
• In four countries new build projects were officially cancelled. Of the 59 units under construction in the world, at least 18 are experiencing multi-year delays, while the remaining 41 projects were started within the past five years or have not yet reached projected start-up dates, making it difficult to assess whether they are running on schedule.
• Construction costs are rapidly rising. The European EPR cost estimate has increased by a factor of four (adjusted for inflation) over the past ten years.
• Two thirds of the assessed nuclear companies and utilities were downgraded by credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s over the past five years.
• The assessment of a dozen nuclear companies reveals that all but one performed worse than the UK FTSE100 index. The shares of the world’s largest nuclear operator, French state utility EDF, lost 82 percent of their value, that of the world’s largest nuclear builder, French state company AREVA, fell by 88 percent.
In contrast, renewable energy development has continued with rapid growth figures.
• Global investment in renewable energy totaled US$260 billion in 2011, almost five times the 2004 amount. Over the same period, the total cumulative investment in renewables has risen to over US$1 trillion, which compares to nuclear power investment decisions of about $120 billion.
• Installed worldwide nuclear capacity decreased again in 2011, while the annual installed wind power capacity increased by 41 GW in 2011 alone. Installed wind power and solar capacity in China grew by a factor of around 50 in the past five years, while nuclear capacity increased by a factor of 1.5. Since 2000, within the European Union nuclear capacity decreased by 14 GW, while 142 GW of renewable capacity was installed, 18 percent more than natural gas with 116 GW.
• In Germany, for the first time, power production from renewables was only second to lignite, exceeded coal, nuclear power and natural gas. The German renewable electricity generation thus corresponded to 29 percent of French nuclear production.

“The market for nuclear is shrinking year by year, while renewable energy deployment continues at pace and in an ever increasing number of countries. With nuclear power becoming more expensive than a widening range of renewable energy technologies this trend will only continue”, said Antony Froggatt, co-author of the report.
“The fact that plant life extension seems the most likely survival strategy of the nuclear industry raises serious safety issues. Most critically will be to what extent and for how long nuclear safety authorities will be in a position to withstand growing pressure from nuclear utilities to keep operating increasingly outdated technology”, states lead author Mycle Schneider.
One third of the nuclear countries generated their historic maximum of nuclear electricity in 2011, which raises troubling questions on the extent of the nuclear safety assessments or so-called “stress tests” carried out around the world after 3/11.

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x. Punjab drinks Uranium-laced water, DAE says don’t worry about Cancer (from dianuke.org 13 July 2012) Anuj Wakhede

It is a matter of shame that a country boasts about its technical expertise yet falls short of common sense. What else can one say about the Government of India which collectively buries its head in the sand and pretends that theonly science which exists in the world is the science of boiling water by using nuclear energy?

For these scientists, there is no such thing as medical science. It makes me wonder where these nuclear scientists and their families go to when they fall ill. Do they take uranium or tritium pills thrice a day to get well? For, they simply do not accept anything medically proven if the wordradioactive is used in conjunction with it. Like proud, over protective (and often stupid) parents, they do not accept that their baby can ever do any wrong – let alone murder!

…Reports about the extremely high levels of uranium in drinking water in Punjab today caused a worried population to ask questions about the safety of the water and whether it was potable.

One would imagine that the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) would come up with scientifically studied answers. After all, this issue has been in the headlines since 2009 when world renowned scientists studied extremely high incidence of cancer, cerebral palsy, autism and other serious genetic defects in children born in certain areas of Punjab.

It has been proven beyond any doubt that radiation poisoning is far more dangerous when it enters the food chain. Even a high school student learns about this.

But the learned scientists with NPCIL, BARC, UCIL and sundry associated organizations along with their proud father – DoAE – have apparently never seen the inside of a school and may well have picked up the tag of nuclear scientist from some fly-by-night college in Karol Baug!

How else does one explain this statement by the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) R K Sinha to the media that “Uranium can damage the kidneys, but there is no correlation between uranium and cancer,

Sir, I sincerely hope that this statement make sense at least to you.

Uranium enters the body and the radiation does NOT distinguish between different organs. Radiation does NOT have any powers to identify body parts and selectively attack it. High concentrations of these poisonous elements are found in the kidneys and liver because these organs are the purification organs, they try to remove the toxins from the body and when they cannot successfully remove them, these toxins remain in these organs. Hence the high rate of kidney failure.

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x. Koodankulam: PUCL Fact-finding report on the fraud Nuclear Emergency Drill (from dianuke.org 13 July 2012) –

The first reactor of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is being readied by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) for loading its nuclear fuel. Conducting site and offsite emergency preparedness exercises are the legally mandatory norms that should be followed in order to get the license from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) for loading this fuel. The district authorities are responsible for conducting the offsite emergency exercises with the guidance from the KKNPP Environment Survey Lab.

The district authorities visited Nakkaneri, a tiny hamlet 7 km away from KKNPP on 9 June 2012 morning along with AERB, DAE and NPCIL officials. They issued a press statement in the evening that the offsite emergency training comprising three stages had been completed successfully. However, there were news reports that countered this assertion.

Keeping the 11 March 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in mind, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) contemplated to conduct a fact finding mission that would shed light on the way the offsite emergency exercise was conducted at the village. The fact finding mission members travelled to Nakkaneri village on two separate days (13th and 20th June). People of the village were interviewed. Signed written and video affidavits were obtained from them.

From the interviews with the local people, it is learnt that the district authorities did not inform the people or their representatives about the exercise that follows an offsite nuclear accident. They spent a few hours in the village but did not do any of the legally mandatory work. Then they left the village. They issued a press statement saying that the offsite emergency training comprising three stages had been completed successfully. PUCL investigation revealed that the main content of the press note released by the Collector following the event was indeed false. Also, it was found that the Environment Survey Lab of KKNPP authorities have made a very big mistake by identifying an upwind site as a downwind one.

KKNPP is located in a windmill region. The capacity of the rotating blades of the windmills to disperse the radioactive plume into the local micro environment has not been studied so far by the scientists of AERB.

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The Silent and Telling Emergency in India. S. P. Udayakumar. Idinthakarai, June 26, 2012 – (from Nuclear Information and Resource Initiative)

Today is the 37the anniversary of the infamous emergency that Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imposed on the people of India. While some people were quite happy that the bureaucrats came to offices on time, shopkeepers kept price lists outside their shops, trains were punctual and so forth, many people were worried and concerned about the curtailment of our freedoms and entitlements. As a 15-year-old boy, I was worried about my father’s safety (as he was active in the DMK party), the complete absence of freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of assembly, and most importantly, freedom from fear. People were afraid to speak their minds out, the newspapers were full of blank spaces because of censorship, and the society was enveloped by a thin layer of fear and suspicion. That was not the India I had grown up to love and cherish. Never did I imagine even in my wildest nightmares that I would find myself in a similar but silent emergency after some 37 years of liberty and freedom.

Today is the 100th day of my and Pushparayan’s self-exile here at Idinthakarai. On March 18, 2012 at 4:45 PM the Personal Assistant (General) of the Tirunelveli Collector called me and asked me and Fr. F. Jayakumar, the Parish Priest of Idinthakarai, to go and meet the Collector in his office the next morning at 10 am. The Collector, Dr. R. Selvaraj, himself called me later that night and the next day morning asking us to go and meet him. A warning bell rang in my mind and I told my friends that we were all going to be arrested. My intuition proved to be right; some 200 of our friends from Koodankulam, Koottapuli, Chettikulam and Erode were arrested. Rayan and I and 13 others embarked on an indefinite hunger strike demanding our friends’ immediate and unconditional release. 

The Superintendent of Police, Mr. Vijayendra Bidari, called me on my mobile on March 19th evening and asked me to surrender. With him still on the phone, I asked the thousands of people who had gathered there for their permission to surrender and they all shouted down the idea. I asked the SP to send enough vehicles and two officers with the arrest warrants so that we all would get arrested en masse. He did not like that idea and hung up by saying, “This is the last time I speak to you.” We used to speak to each other quite often as I got his oral permission for all our rallies, campaigns and public meetings.

Ever since March 18th, Rayan and I never left this small coastal village (except two short visits to the nearby Kuthenkuzhi village by sea). Thousands of people including women and children from all the neighboring villages were keeping a constant round-the-clock vigil to protect us from police action. The Tamil Nadu government imposed 144 prohibitory orders in our area and blocked our access to food, water, electricity and other essentials such as baby food, vegetables and fruits. Young mothers were forced to feed their babies sugar water; pregnant women could not go to hospital; and men could not leave or enter the village. We were surrounded by a massive deployment of police personnel from all over Tamil Nadu and paramilitary forces. We rightly called the situation another ‘Mullivaikal.’ Indeed, it was!

Pushparayan, Jesuraj and I are not afraid of police arrest or incarceration; we just do not want the struggle to be folded up by the Tamil Nadu police, the Government of India and its intelligence agencies. This is the reason why we have decided not to venture out of Idinthakarai. This self-exile has not been easy or smooth-going. But the singular achievement of our self-exile is keeping the struggle alive and active with several hunger strikes, public meetings, campaigns, planning meetings and other assorted activities.

So far, more than 300 false cases have been filed against us, the leaders of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), and the struggling people of southern Tamil Nadu. Up until December 31, 2011 some 170 FIRs were filed against us. A friend tabulated these cases and had this to say: “Just between September and December 2011, …109 FIRs (First Investigation Report) have been filed against 55,795 people and an undisclosed number of “others.” At least 21 sections of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) have been used, include Section 121 (Waging War against the Government of India) against 3600 people, and Section 124A (Sedition) against 3200 people. The Koodankulam police station has the dubious distinction, perhaps, of being the station where the largest number of “sedition” and “waging war” cases have been filed in the shortest time in the history of colonial and independent India.” Here is a partial list of cases that were filed against us just in October and November of 2011:

Cr. No. 299/11 D.O. 13.10.11
Sec. 121, 143, 188, 153(A), 341, 506(1), 505(1)(b) & 7(1)(a) CLA Act R/W 120(b)
S P. Udayakumar and 19 others (including 4 women)

Cr. No. 301/11 D.O. 14.10.11
Sec. 143, 147, 188 R/W 34
S. P. Udayakumar and 13 others (including one woman) as well as 2,000 people

Cr. No. 303/11 D.O. 14.10.11
Sec. 147, 148, 341, 294(b), 353, 506(ii) IPC R/W 34.
S. P. Udayakumar and 13 others (including one woman) as well as 1,000 people.

Cr. No. 304/11 D.O. 14.10.11
Sec. 147, 148, 452, 121, 506(I) IPC R/W 34 IPC
S. P. Udayakaumr and 2 others as well as 15 supporters.

Cr. No. 305/11 D.O. 14.10.11
Sec. 147, 148, 452, 121, 506(I) IPC R/W 34 IPC
S. P. Udayakumar and two others as well as many people.

Cr. No. 306/11 D.O. 14.10.11
Sec. 147, 148, 452, 121, 506(I) IPC R/W 34 IPC.
Allwyn and four others as well as many people.

Cr. No. 307/11 D.O. 14.10.11
Sec. 147, 148, 452, 121, 506(II) IPC R/W 34 IPC.
S. P. Udayakumar and three others as well as many.

Cr. No. 315/11 D.O. 15.10.11
Sec. 109, 121, 124 (A), 125, 143, 153(A), 341, 353, 505(1)(b), 506(i) IPC & Sec 3 of PDDL Act & 7(1)(a) CLA Act. R/W 120 IPC.
S. P. Udayakumar and 16 others (including 6 priests, 2 doctors, 2 women)

Cr. No. 316/11 D.O. 16.10.11
Sec. 147, 188, 353, 341 R/W 34 IPC.
S. P. Udayakumar and 13 others.

Cr. No. 372/11 D.O. 21.11.11
Sec. 121, 124A, 143, 153(A), 447, 505(1)(b) & 7(1)(a) CLA Act, 120(B).
S. P. Udayakumar and 14 others as well as 3,000 people.

Cr. No. 373/11 D.O. 21.11.11
Sec. 143, 188, 147, 124(A), 153(A)
S. P. Udayakumar and 19 others as well as 450 people.

As you can see, some of the above cases carry the charges of ‘sedition’ and ‘waging war against the Indian State’. But what is interesting is the fact that the Prime Minister of India, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, the Tirunelveli District Collector, the Tirunelveli Superintendent of Police (SP) and many other officials have been meeting with us on a regular basis as the diary below establishes. The question here is if we are guilty of ‘sedition’ and of ‘waging war against the Indian State’ and so forth, don’t these officials become co-conspirators in our crimes and stand accused of abetting us, the dangerous criminals? Shouldn’t the same charges be brought against them also?

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x. Release of Justice AP Shah Committee report of public hearing on Koodankulam and Democracy (click to watch) LIVESTREAM JUNE 04. 2012. MADRAS CLUB, WALLAJAH ROAD, CHENNAI. Prof. Vasanthi Devi, Former VC, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University to receive first copy of report, Adv. Geeta Ramaseshan, Member of Panel | Prof. Prabha Kalvimani, Member of Panel –

On May 14, 2012, a committee led by Justice (Retd) A.P. Shah (Retd Chief Justice, Madras High Court) and comprising Adv. Geeta Ramaseshan and Prof. Prabha Kalvimani heard a public hearing on Koodankulam and State Suppression of Democratic Rights. The hearing was prompted by the unlawful efforts by the governments of Tamil Nadu and India to prevent any discussion critical of nuclear energy in the wake of the 19 March decision of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to withdraw her support to the anti-nuclear movement and declare her consent to commissioning the nuclear plants. Before that and since then, numerous cases — more than 247 FIRs — have been filed against innocent people charging them with grievous offences such as sedition and waging war against the state. Other forms of repression — such as intimidation, oral directions to printing presses and auditorium owners discouraging them from lending their services for activities critical of nuclear energy — have characterised the State’s attempt to manufacture consent and suppress dissent.

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Nuclear Nirvana. S. P. Udayakumar. Idinthakarai, May 30, 2012

spudayakumar@gmail.com

[Newspaper Reports: Having exhausted all options to end opposition to the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant, 
the Indian government now plans to get a peek into the protesters’ minds and remove any fears with the help of 
psychiatrists from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) in Bangalore.]

If you do feel like pulling your hair off
when they deprive you of your daily bread,
If you do feel like screaming your head off 
when they chip away at your wellbeing,
If you do feel like kicking up a storm 
when they deny your identity and freedom,
If you do feel like raising a ruckus
when they wring you dry of life’s very meaning,
If you feel like grabbing one’s throat 
when they lay on the line your survival,
You must be sick, my friend! I dare say,
you could even be mentally ill.

You could be suffering from reality distortion
focusing on problems rather than solutions;
You could be a victim of interpretative intention
drawing negative conclusions and opposing authority;
You are simply sick with establishmentophobia
doubting leaders, heroes, scientists and such Noble Men.
If the State signs nuclear deals with every country
and mines adivasi land and all over for Yellow Cake,
Builds temples of technology, dumps the waste into the blue sea,
and manufactures “Smiling Buddha” products that protect us all—
They see Nuclear Nirvana but you cry foul for denuding with nukes,
and for this feeling of demoniac you need to see a psychiatrist!

The prognosis for this establishmentophobia is rather mixed.
You will continue to suspect your mother, the country, and Father, the State;
You will distrust your Brothers and sisters, the Nobility and their sentry;
You will disbelieve the fact that “road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions.”
You like a lunatic lover will be hard to talk to and even harder to listen to; 
You’ll become imponderable, impregnable, and simply impossible.
If the diagnosis is rather bad and the prognosis even worse, 
The therapy is the worst, calling for continuous psychiatric care.
Explore the anatomical structure of your brain and examine its neurophysiology;
Check your preference of Democritean knowing: through senses or intellect?
And put you on corrective behavior in a correctional facility or corporate hospital
For distrusting the dual drive theory of nuking and nirvana to explain human fulfillment.

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People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) May 24, 2012. Press Release on Koodankulam Site Evaluation Report- 
Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104Tirunelveli District, Tamil NaduPhone: 98656 83735; 98421 54073koodankulam@yahoo.compushparayan@gmail.com 

[1] As per the Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2012/000544/18674 dated 30.4.2012, the Central Information Commissioner ordered “to provide an attested photocopy of the Safety Analysis Report and Site Evaluation Report after severing any proprietary details of designs provided by the suppliers to the appellant before 25 May, 2012.” The CIC has stated categorically that “if the said reports have details of designs of the plant which are specially provided by the suppliers,” “the PIO can severe such design details which have been provided by the supplier as per the provisions of Section 10 of the [RTI] Act.”

[2] The NPCIL in its reply to the CIC argues that the Safety Analysis Report (SAR) “is a ‘third party document’ and therefore, without the prior consent of the third party, the same cannot be shared with anyone.” Although they are holding the SAR in a ‘Fiduciary Capacity,’ the NPCIL has said it is “ready and willing to show the copy” of SAR to the CIC. But they cannot share it with the people of India. Obviously, the NPCIL is more interested in the safety of the Russian company and the Russian benefactors but not in the safety of the people of India.

[3] The Central Public Information Officer, Shri S. K. Shrivastava, has sent “the copy of Site Evaluation Report for KKNPP 1 & 2” with the cover letter No. NPCIL/VSB/CPIO/620/KKNPP/2012/769 dated May 17, 2012. 

Physical Shape of the so called SER:
The so-called Site Evaluation Report (SER) consists of twelve (12) pages of hardly-legible typed-material with no cover page, no authorship, no ownership, no publisher, no date, no index, and no head or tail. If the print quality of the so called SER is anything to go by to assess the standard of the overall Koodankulam nuclear power project, we have so much to worry about our and our country’s future. You can hardly read a word and rarely decipher a number. Maybe that is the way NPCIL prepares its important public safety reports so that no one can and will read, understand, discuss, debate and ask more questions.

Moreover, the so called SER mentions the Soviet Union in several places and it proves that the report is also quite old and outdated. Common sense tells us that this is certainly not the original or complete ‘Site Evaluation Report’ for KKNPP 1 and 2. And if it really is, then Indian citizens have something serious to worry about. In all probability, what we have received is some loose old notes of the NPCIL hurriedly put together to meet the CIC deadline and to mislead the public. It is very strange that the SER of India’s first largest mega nuclear complex that may allegedly house six to eight large imported reactors is 12 loose A-4 sheets. It is unbelievable that an ambitious India-Russia joint project built with a whopping outlay of Rs. 14,000 crore has such a lackadaisical site evaluation study.

In the so called SER that has been sent to us, pages 1, 2, 3 and 13 have been expunged without any explanation. It is unlikely that this report may have “details of designs of the plant.” It gives rise to a suspicion that the NPCIL still hiding some crucial public safety-related information from the Indian public. On Page 4, the last paragraph mentions “the site selection committee” and “[t]he present committee” without mentioning the number of members or their names. It is unclear why the NPCIL is trying to hide this vital and relevant information.

Startling Revelations in the so called SER:

[i] Pechipari Water Will be Taken
The so called SER records on Pages 6-7: “In order to enhance additional reliability for water supply, which is essential for functioning of various safety systems of the reactor, intake well at Pechiparai Dam should be provided at lower elevation than the minimum draw-down level of the reservoir. However, it should be ensured by proper management of water distribution that the water level is maintained above this minimum level.” On Page 11, the SER discusses “Fresh water for make-up and domestic use” and establishes that it is “Assured by State Government. One pipe line from Pechiparai dam (at 65 km) to be laid.” Indeed two pipe lines have already been laid from the tail end of the Kuzhithurai Tamirabharani river along the Kanyakumari district coast and from a location some 5 kms away from the Pechiparai dam through Nagercoil town. The NPCIL authorities simply parrot the unserious assertion that they would not take water from the Pechiparai dam, and the Government of Tamil Nadu ignores our long-standing demand of passing an Assembly resolution against taking the Pechiparai water. As a matter of fact, the Tamil Nadu government has recently allotted some Rs. 5 crore to desilt the dam and maintain it.

[ii] No Evacuation Routes Planned or Prescribed
The so called SER claims on Page 8: “At least two evacuation routes from plant site during an emergency should be provided.” It established on Page 16: “3 routes exist for possible evacuation. Schools and other public buildings exist for adequate temporary shelter, Nagercoil (30km), Tirunelveli (100km), and Tuticorin (100km) can provide communication, medical facilities and administrative support.” But there is no discussion about the escape routes, the condition of these roads, the status of the relief shelters and so forth.

[iii] Possible Future Expansion
Under Topography, the so called SER asserts: “Sufficient land available for future expansion.” But the NPCIL officials keep saying that they will not take more land for the KKNPP.

[iv] Incomplete and Incoherent Info on Hydrology, Geology, Oceanography and Seismology Aspects
All these important issues are very briefly mentioned in a Table with cursory information and without any in-depth analysis.
*Tsunami is explained away by saying “Not significant as per preliminary report of CRPPS.”
*As far as seismotectonic environment is concerned, the report asserts simply that “No active fault within 5 km. Site is seismic zone II as per IS-1893; 1984.”
*The report says on Page 14: “A lime stone quary of about 70 acres falls within the sterilized zone. The lease for this area expires in 1994. Termination of the lease beyond the period has been requested.” In fact, this quarry has functioned until very recently.
Important and relevant issues such as Karst in the area, the slumps in the sea, and the recent mega earthquake in the Indian Ocean have not been mentioned or discussed.

[v] Radioactive Waste Details
Solid Waste
The so called SER says:
*“160-180 m cu per year of cemented waste including spent absorption materials, 40 m cu/yr of compacted waste and 5 m cu/yr of cemented ash will be generated from one reactor.”
*“Low level solid waste to be buried within exclusion zone in leak-proof RCC Vaults/trenches/tile holes.”
*Spent Fuel: “Each unit layout can store spent fuel of 5 reactor years in the spent fuel pool located inside the containment.”

Liquid Waste Dumped into the Sea
According to the SER, the liquid waste is “[t]o be diluted to 2x10E-7 micro Ci/l when discharged into the sea.” So it is clearly established that the radioactivity in the liquid waste of 6000 mCu/year from two units will be removed in the Ion exchange resin and as evaporator concentrate. It will be further diluted by condenser cooling water to meet the AERB limits and discharged into the sea.

Gas Release
The daily releases of gaseous discharge from KKNPP 1 and 2 will contain noble gases, I-131, long-life nuclides and short-life nuclides.

Thermal Pollution
According to the SER, “Depth of sea water and large dilution due to sea will avoid thermal pollution.”

[vi] Population
The so called SER asserts wrongly that there are no center of more than 10,000 people within 10 km radius zone and no center of more than 100,000 people within 30 km radius zone. 

There is hardly any mention of desalinations plants, the transportation of the nuclear waste and other crucial issues. To sum up, this SER reads like a practical joke being played upon the innocent people of southern Tamil Nadu and southern Kerala. The PMANE rejects this so called SER and demands the NPCIL to share the real, complete and updated Site Evaluation Report with the people of India along with the Safety Analysis Report as per the orders of the CIC.

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Dianuke.org had organized a daily live stream  (9.00 p.m. IST) of conversations with protesters from Idinthakarai, Koodankulam. This page was created originally to update their streams daily, but also provide as an updated list of important links regarding the anti-nuclear protests (it will continue to be so). As the situation in Koodankulam is worsening, Dianuke has found the possibility of daily live stream very difficult. The people in Idinthakarai are frustrated to have ended their 14 day hunger strike without getting anything tangible. The last hunger strike was also ended unceremoniously, but this time it had more to do with the urgency of police force surrounding the Idinthakarai village. Please read the petition, sign and share it. 

Bookmark and circulate this page widely to join the dialogue and voice your support for the anti-nuclear struggle in Koodankulam and other places around the world.

+ Message from Dianuke.org: May 16. 2012.

This statement is a reflection of our collective frustration and instead of being sent to the Govt, it will be presented before people of India on May 20th (6 pm) at the India Gate, New Delhi.

It is already endorsed by prominent figures like Prashant Bhushan, Vandana Shiva, Lalita Ramdas, Partha Chatterjee, Parful Bidwai, Achin Vanaik, Gnani Sankaran, John Dayal, Meher Engineer, Sandeep Pandey etc.

Please send the e-petition on DiaNuke.org. Endorsements can also be directly sent to cndpindia@gmail.com

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No Celebration Goes Unpunished by Nityanand Jayaraman: (with transcript of the interim statement given by Justice (Retd) AP Shah during the May 14. 2012 Public Hearing):

…we live in curious times. Even the media condones this intrusion into the most fundamental of constitutional rights. Even as the media pontificates and resists, rightly so, the dangerous proposals by the Supreme Court or the Press Council chairman to regulate and perhaps control the media, it condones and even participates in the denial of Idinthakarai residents to speak out against a project that they feel will change their lives forever, for the worse. Regardless of one’s point of view on nuclear energy, the assault on free speech requires greater scrutiny and critique.

_________________________

+ Recent photographs from Idinthakarai, Koodankulam:

Amirtharaj Stephen shares with us some of his photographs covering recents events regarding the Anti-Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant Protests. Click on image to view post.

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+ Koodankulam Public Hearing – Loyola College: May 14 2012. Live Stream.

Koodankulam & State Suppression of Democratic Rights: Presided by Justice (Retd) A.P. Shah, former Chief Justice (Madras and Delhi High Courts) & Geeta Ramaseshan, Senior Advocate, Madras High Court, Prof. Prabha Kalvimani | Testimonies by Prashant Bhushan, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court, Sam Rajappa, Senior Journalist, Chennai & residents of Idinthakarai, Koodankulam and surrounding areas | VENUE: Lawrence Sundaram Hall, Loyola College, Sterling Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai | DATE/TIME: 14 May, 2012. (Monday) 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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+ Urgent Message from Idinthakarai – Arrest Alert – May 9, 2012 – (from Nuclear Information and Resource Service)

Curfew orders have just been promulgated in our area once again right after our planning meetings with the youth, women, community elders and the Idinthakarai village committee on May 8, 2012. Thousands of police personnel are being posted in and around Koodankulam in haste. We get reliable tips that the authorities are planning to clamp down our protest and arrest all of us, possibly tonight. Such a pre-dawn operation that the government usually does could be bloody as thousands of men, women and children from several villages are sleeping around the Church at Idinthakarai.

This action may be planned to cover up a recent accident at the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP). It is said that two young men, Sivakumar and Esakkimuthu, were injured on May 4 in an alleged blast at KKNPP and they were admitted in a private hospital at Anjugramam. Dr. Tamilarasu who treated the men confirmed the accident according to a newspaper report (The Indian Express, May 8, 2012). One of the young men’s fathers talked to the Puthiya Thalaimurai television on May 8, 2012 that he was not even allowed to see his son. 

On May 8, 2012, we also held a Press Meet at Idinthakarai at 4:00 PM in which we produced the ledgers with tens of thousands of signatures of people from some 60 villages opposing the KKNPP. This is a clear proof that the central and state governments are acting against the will of the local people and are thrusting the dangerous nuclear power project down our throats in an authoritarian and arrogant manner. We also produced some 24,000 voter ID cards that the people had surrendered in protest against the governments’ callous attitude towards the 302 women and 35 men indefinite hunger strikers. As the Indian government and the state governments do not respect ordinary people’s lives and interests in India, we also launched the “Respect India” Campaign along the lines of Mahatma Gandhi’s “Quit India” campaign of 1942.

The Tamil Nadu police have been harassing local people when they close their shops in support of our protests or when they travel to neighboring villages. The police take individual pot shots of the people, shoot group photos, take down the vehicle numbers, abuse with foul language and intimidate them. When a curfew was imposed earlier on our area by the Tamil Nadu government on March 19, 2012, the authorities divided the local communities by announcing a Rs. 500 crore bribery package to the local bodies, stifled news reports on us by silencing the media and isolated the people by distancing the Church.

It is so strange and unfortunate that the central and state governments treat us, nonviolent and democratic Gandhian activists, as some kind of dangerous extremists. The hunger strikers are very weak and feeble but they refuse to give up without getting our demands fulfilled. Instead of talking to us, the Tamil Nadu government seems to be preparing for a highhanded behavior and violence to put us all down.

Please contact the following officers and demand justice for our people:
[1] Dr. R. Selvaraj, District Collector, Tirunelveli District, Tirunelveli. Phone: 91-462-2500828; Fax: 91-462-2500224; Mobile: 91-9444185000; Email:collrtnv@nic.in
[2] Mr. V. Varadharaju; Phone: 91-462-2568031; Mobile: 91-9840970530; Email: digtinrg@yahoo.co.in
[3] Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Fort St. George, Chennai 600 009, India; Phones: 91-44-25672345 (W); 91-44-25670215 (H); Faxes: 91-44-28133510; 25676929; 25671441; 28130787.
[4] Mr. Debendranath Sarangi, Chief Secretary; Phone: 91-44-25671555; Fax: 91-44-25672304; Email: cs@tn.gov.in
[5] Dr. Sheela Priya, Additional Chief Secretary; Phone: 91-44-25674234; Fax: 91-44-25675163. Email: cmcell@tn.gov.in

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+ There is more to worry about Kudankulam plant than a nuclear accident – Sam Rajappa. TheWeekendLeader.com.

About 500 people, an overwhelming majority of them women, have been on an indefinite peaceful fast since 1 May at Idinthakarai, a fishermen hamlet next to the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP). Curfew orders have been promulgated and more than 2,000 police men have surrounded the area, creating an impression the hapless protesters are under siege. Thousands after thousands of people from neighbouring villages have surrendered their voter ID cards, claiming, “we are surrendering our freedom and democratic rights at the altar of a few hundred megawatt of destructive nuclear power.” …. Nuclear power, after all, is the energy of the past and not of the future. Japan has switched off the last of its 54 reactors on 5 May as thousands marched to celebrate the nation’s freedom from nuclear power for the first time in nearly five decades waving banners shaped as giant fish, a potent anti-nuclear symbol. Germany plans to completely reverse its nuclear programme from a current share of 26 per cent of its energy requirements to zero per cent in the next 10 years and shift to solar and other renewable sources. While the advanced countries are looking at future sources of energy, India is looking backwards and acquiring discarded nuclear reactors.

_________________________

+ Koodankulam and Nuclear Power: Some myths, realities and frequently asked questions

In April this year [2011], Damian Carrington wrote on his environmental blog in The Guardian that they are five key questions we should ask ourselves in order to understand our stand on nuclear energy:

1. Do you think the global community can prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and, if not, do you think it can prevent a nuclear weapon being used?

2. Is the hazard of climate change greater than that posed by a nuclear disaster?

3. Is global political will too weak to create a low-carbon energyfuture that does not involve nuclear power and in time to avert climate chaos?

4. Is nuclear power vital to ensuring the security of energy supply?

5. Can the full costs of nuclear truly be calculated?

Now these are obviously not questions we can sit on our chairs, look into our hearts and answer. Though Carrington offers a few viewpoints and links for further reading, a collection of frequently asked questions were seriously needed. In light of the anti-nuclear protests in Koondankulam, Nityanand Jayaraman and G. Sundar Rajan of the Chennai Solidarity Group for Koondankulam Struggle have put together a factual response to genuine questions they encountered during their various campaigns.

_________________________

+ Koodankulam: Curb on Free Speech (2 Parts): interviews with English transcription

Since March 19, 2012, when Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced that work on the controversial Koodankulam nuclear plant could be resumed, and even before that actually, the protesting villagers have been at the receiving end of a vicious state led campaign to paint their non-violent struggle as a violent one, and to crush their campaign into silence by using harsh sections of the Indian Penal Code. More than 7000 cases of “sedition” and “waging war against the Government of India” have been filed just in the Koodankulam police station. That is probably more than in any other police station in India. Certain sections of the media too have played the role of a willing partner in propagating the State’s propaganda. In pursuing this counter-campaign against its own people, the State Government has placed itself above the law of the land and pursued an openly anti-democratic agenda. Koodankulam: Curb on Free Speech is a compilation of interviews that seek to explore the seemingly ironical situation of a “Democratic” State whose actions are anti-democratic.

_________________________

+ Koodankulam: Curb on Free Speech (Part 3): interview with English transcription

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Koodankulam Nuclear Action (video) 3mins 52s

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+ People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) April 25, 2012 – (from Nuclear Information and Resource Service)

Idinthakarai 627 104, Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu, India Email: koodankulam@yahoo.comMobile: 9865683735

Dear Friend:
Greetings! Please accept our sincere thanks for your keen interest in our struggle and the kind support for our cause. As you know, we have been fighting against the Koodankulam Nuclear power Project (KKNPP) since the late 1980s. This Russian project was shelved right after the Soviet Union’s collapse and taken up again in 1997. The Indian government and Russians have constructed two huge reactors of 1000 MW each without any consent of or consultation with the local people. We have just obtained the outdated Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report after 23 years of long and hard struggle. The Indian nuclear authorities have not shared any basic information about the project with the public. They do not give complete and truthful answers for our questions on the ‘daily routine emissions’ from these reactors, the amount and management of nuclear waste, fresh water needs, impact of the coolant water on our sea and seafood, decommissioning costs and effects, Russian liability and so forth. We are deeply disturbed by all this.

Our people watched the Fukushima accident of March 11, 2011 on TV at their homes and understood the magnitude and repercussions of a nuclear accident. Right after that on July 1, 2011, the KKNPP announced the ‘hot run’ of the first reactor that made so much noise and smoke. Furthermore, the authorities asked the people, in a mock drill notice, to cover their nose and mouth and run for their life in case of an emergency. As a result of all these, our people in Koodankulam and Idinthakarai villages made up their minds and took to the streets on their own on August 11, 2011. Then we all together decided to host a day-long hunger strike on August 16 at Idinthakarai and a three-day fast on August 17-19 at Koodankulam. On the 17th itself authorities invited us for talks and asked us to postpone our struggle to the first week of September because of the upcoming Hindu and Muslim festivals. In a few days’ time, the chief of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) announced that the first reactor would go critical in September 2011.

So we embarked upon an indefinite hunger strike on September 11, 2011 and our women blocked a state road on September 13 for a few hours when the state and central governments continued to ignore us. The state Chief Minister invited us for talks on September 21 and passed a cabinet resolution the next day asking the central government to halt all the work until the fears and concerns of the local people were allayed. We ended our hunger strike on the 22nd but went on another round of indefinite hunger strike from October 9 to 16 when the talks with the Indian Prime Minister failed. We laid siege in front of the KKNPP on October 13-16, 2011 when the KKNPP authorities did not halt work at the site as per the Tamil Nadu state cabinet resolution. We ended both the indefinite hunger strike and the siege on October 16 in order for our people to participate in the local body elections on the 17th. From October 18, 2011, we have been on a relay hunger strike continuously. We have been carrying out massive rallies, village campaigns, public meetings, seminars, conferences, and other demonstrations such as shaving our heads, cooking on the street, burning the models of the nuclear plants etc. When the state government of Tamil Nadu arrested some 200 of our comrades on March 19, 2012, 15 of us embarked on an indefinite hunger strike until March 27. This struggle has been going on for more than 260 days and the morale of the people is still very very high. 

There is no foreign country or agency or money involved in this classic people’s struggle to defend our right to life and livelihood. Our fishermen, farmers, workers and women make small voluntary donations in cash and kind to sustain our simple Gandhian struggle. Our needs are very few and expenses much less. We only provide safe drinking water to the hunger strikers and visitors. People from all over Tamil Nadu (and sometimes from other parts of India) come on their own arranging their own transportation. For our own occasional travel, we hire local taxis.

Instead of understanding the people’s genuine feelings and fulfilling our demands, the government has foisted serious cases of ‘sedition’ and ‘waging war on the Indian state’ on the leaders of our movement. There are more than 200 criminal cases on us. There have been police harassment, intelligence officers’ stalking, concocted news reports in the pro-government media, abuse of our family members, hate mail, death threats and even physical attack.

Although India is a democracy, our Delhi government has been keen on safeguarding the interests of the MNCs and pleasing some powerful countries such as the United States, Russia, France etc. The welfare of the ‘ordinary citizens’ of India does not figure on their list of priorities. The central government and the ruling Congress party stand by the secretive nuclear agreements they have made with all different countries and consider us as stumbling blocks on their road to development. The main opposition party, Bharatiya Janata Party (Hindu nationalist party) is interested in the nuclear weapons program and making India a superpower and hence loves everything nuclear. It is ironic that these two corrupt and communal forces join hands with each other against their own people. They bend backwards to please their American and other bosses but question our integrity and nationalist credentials.

Our leaders and the group of 15 women were physically attacked on January 31, 2012 at Tirunelveli by the Congress thugs and Hindutva Fascists when we had gone for talks with the central government expert team. Now the government cuts electricity supply so often and so indiscriminately in order to drive home the message that nuclear power plant is needed for additional power. They try to create resentment and opposition among the public against our anti-nuclear struggle.

To put it all in a nutshell, this is a classic David-Goliath fight between the ‘ordinary citizens’ of India and the powerful Indian government supported by the rich Indian capitalists, MNCs, imperial powers and the global nuclear mafia. They promise FDI, nuclear power, development, atom bombs, security and superpower status. We demand risk-free electricity, disease-free life, unpolluted natural resources, sustainable development and harmless future. They say the Russian nuclear power plants are safe and can withstand earthquakes and tsunamis. But we worry about their side-effects and after-effects. They speak for their scientist friends and business partners and have their eyes on commissions and kickbacks. But we fight for our children and grandchildren, our progeny, our animals and birds, our land, water, sea, air and the skies.

Right now, the Indian government is trying to commission the KKNPP reactors without conducting the mandatory disaster training and evacuation exercises to the people in the 30-km radius. The government and the Department of Atomic Energy have not told the people anything about the Koodankulam nuclear waste and its management, the secretive liability agreement between New Delhi and Moscow, and the geology, hydrology, oceanography and seismology issues with regards to the Koodankulam reactors.

Please keep us on your prayers/meditations/thoughts/conversations and keep an eye on the developments here in the southernmost tip of India. You can write to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms. J. Jayalalitha requesting her to stop this project. You could also write to our Prime Minister not to drag India in the opposite direction when the whole world is going the ‘beyond thermal and nuclear’ route. Thanking you once again, we send you our best personal regards and all peaceful wishes.
Cordially,
S. P. Udayakumar, M. Pushparayan, Fr. M.P. Jesuraj, Fr. F. Jayakumar and others.

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+ People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) April 23, 2012 – (from Nuclear Information and Resource Service)

Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104Tirunelveli District, Tamil NaduPhone: 98656 83735; 98421 54073
koodankulam@yahoo.compushparayan@gmail.com

Press Release PMANE Announces Indefinite Hunger Strike from May 1, 2012 at Idinthakarai
The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) plans to resume indefinite hunger strike from May 1, 2012, International Workers’ Day. When we concluded our earlier hunger strike on March 27, 2012 at the behest of the Madurai Archbishop Most Rev. Peter Fernando and Mr. Arimavalavan’s negotiations with the Tirunelveli district officials at Radhapuram, the authorities had agreed to
· release all our comrades from prisons unconditionally;
· withdraw all the false and foisted cases against tens of thousands of our people including sedition charges;
· institute an independent national committee to study the hydrology, geology and oceanography issues;
· conduct disaster management and evacuation exercises to all the people in 30 km radius from the KKNPP;
· share a copy of the secret IGA between the governments of India and Russia in 2008 on liability;
· divulge all the relevant info about the KKNPP nuclear waste and their management; and
· respect the democratic rights of our people to continue to oppose the KKNPP peacefully and nonviolently.

Almost a month has passed after this negotiation, but no promise has been fulfilled so far. Mugilan and Sathish are still languishing in prison and more cases are said to have been filed against them. More than 56,000 people have been charged with false cases until December 31, 2011 including some 6,000 sedition cases. If we tally the cases that have been filed in the first quarter of 2012, the number must be way too high. This only proves how big our struggle is and how undemocratic and anti-people our governments are.

Even those who have been released on bail are made to sign every day at distant police stations like dangerous criminals and are prevented from going to work. They are all living in poverty and misery.

No step has been taken to withdraw all the false cases that are foisted on us; instead, fresh murder charges are framed against the leaders of the PMANE falsely.

Besides the hydrology, geology, oceanography issues of the KKNPP, we have now to deal with the seismology issue also as the entire state of Tamil Nadu and the eastern coast of India were rocked by powerful tremors and temblors on April 11, 2012. Following the massive earthquake and the aftershocks on that day, there has been another major earthquake in Indonesia on April 20, 2012 night. These issues have to be researched thoroughly and truthfully before opening a major and controversial nuclear project such as the KKNPP in the affected area.

The government authorities and the KKNPP officials are trying to scuttle the whole process of disaster training and evacuation exercises by roping in the cooperation of the local Panchayat presidents and by creating falsified records that such exercises had been done in these Panchayats. The KKNPP administration that never respected the local people and their leaders before are now trying to please these Panchayat presidents with the promised Rs. 500-crore package. Given the recent repeated earthquakes in Indonesia, even people beyond 30-km radius must be given disaster training.

We hear recurrent rumors that there are serious problems in the reactor pressure vessel, and that there is a perennial water spring near the reactor building that plague the KKNPP project and that is why some 18 Russian scientists have been invited urgently to work on the project. The KKNPP officials must tell the people the whole truth about the problems involved in the delay of the project, present a White Paper on the total cost of the project and explain how much public money has been spent on all these recent visits of Russians and other PR exercises.

We earnestly hope that the Government of India and the Government of Tamil Nadu will resume the negotiations with us, fulfill their commitments and avoid the planned indefinite hunger strike. We still hope that these governments work not just for the rich and powerful but are also interested in the wellbeing of the ordinary and unlettered citizens of India.
The Struggle Committee, People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)

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+ Idinthakarai Update – April 16, 2012 – (from Nuclear Information and Resource Service)

Note: More information about this update, from a fact-finding team that found the charges are a “parody of law” can be found on the DiaNuke.org site here.

Dear all:
The state’s propaganda and witch-hunt has taken a fresh and disturbing turn with an engineered FIR filed by the husband of Vijayapathi Panchayat President and his brother Stalin. Please see links below:

1. http://www.ucanindia.in/news/antinuclear-activists-arrested-charged-with-murder/17530/daily

2. http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/article3318944.ece

I spoke to V. Pushparayan at 10:15 a.m. today. According to media reports, a gang instigated by Pushparayan and Udayakumar, attacked and injured Sahayaraj (President’s husband) and Stalin (Sahayaraj’s brother) at 8:30 p.m. on 14 April, 2012. The above two media reports do not even bother to interview the people accused of this alleged crime. The allegation is made into a fact, as if the reporter had observed the attack.

Here’s the version from Idinthakarai. 
1. On Saturday, in the morning, the Struggle Committee received a letter from the Panchayat President making it seem as if the protestors are standing in the way of legitimate functioning and administration of the Panchayat.

2. At between 6 and 7 p.m., Sahayaraj and a few others went to the space that is being used as a public bathing area and toilet by the protestors. Sahayaraj picked up a fight with the women gathered there, shut off the water, locked off access to the toilets, and took away the keys from Mr. Suganthan, a differently abled person. The toilets are actually a women’s toilet constructed specifically for women. The abused the women using vulgar language and Mr. Sahayaraj threatened them saying no woman should use these toilets from Sunday onwards. Ms. Sahaya Initha, Councillor of 13th ward, who spoke to me on phone said that the toilets were opened this morning after the women threatened to complain to the BDO.

3. As narrated by Sahaya Initha to me over phone: “There are 450 houses in CASA Nagar. The residents have been purchasing drinking water at Rs. 2.50 per pot. Salt water for other purposes is pumped from a borewell to an overhead tank in the colony. This water is provided to residents for 3 hours every other day. Water has to be stored to meet all purposes other than drinking within these three hours. At around 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, Mr. Sahayaraj accompanied by Stalin, Bosco, Inniyasi, Sagayam and Xavier, went to CASA Nagar, a tsunami rehabilitation colony located about 700 metres from the nuclear plant. They were in a car. They came ready for trouble. They had weapons in their vehicle. Because I’m the councillor, these men came to my house to threaten my husband. All the women gathered and we lay down and blocked them. Sahayaraj then confronted Mr. Ganesan, the person who has the keys to the borewell pump house. Despite our protests, he snatched away the keys from Mr. Ganesan. He said “Now I’ll see what you’ll do for water.” As women, we didn’t want to pick up a fight with these guys as we were apprehensive that they will attack us with the weapons in their possession. This morning, we contacted one Mr. Paul Durai, who had another set of keys, and we got him to open the pump and run it, but only after we threatened to go to the BDO and complain.”

At 8:30 p.m. the same day, Mr. Santhiya, s/o Felix, residing at North Antoniyars St, Idinthakarai, and driver Mr. Livings, s/o Remigius, were returning to Idinthakarai by Vehicle No. TN 72 Q 4323. A car coming in the opposite direction suddenly swerved towards them, narrowly missing a head-on collision, but scraping the car. The occupants of the two vehicles got out. The other vehicle was occupied by Mr. Sahayaraj and Mr. Stalin, his brother. Both were reportedly inebriated. They got out, and thrashed Santhiya and Felix, and reported at the Koodankulam Police Station that they were the victims. Mr. Santhiya and Felix were too afraid to report to the police as any Idinthakarai resident can be arrested on any pretext because of the large number of false cases filed on unknown people.

Complaints about all incidents will be filed by post and email. Sahaya Initha says “The problem is between Sahayaraj and the people who elected his wife. Udaykumar Ayya, Pushparayan Ayya and Father Jesuraj did not elect them and they have nothing to do with our anger. Sahayaraj is upset with us because of the fight we picked up after he snatched the keys to the toilets and borewell pump. The FIR should be filed against us.”

Last night, another incident has happened. Mr. Stalin — Sahayaraj’s brother — owns a large shed which used to house vehicles and cattle. Last night, the cattle and vehicles were removed and the shed was set afire. A 2000 strong dalit community lives near the Shed in the village named Keezh Vijayapathi. The community knows who set it afire, and they plan to file a petition with the police today.

Mrs. Egethin Sahayaraj, the invisible woman president whose husband is the proxy President, was elected on the basis of a poll promise that she will stand with the people against the nuclear power plant. But since 19 March, both the President and her husband have been going back and forth on their promise. Mr. Sahayaraj has tried to provoke the protestors on several occasions and failed. On the day that the Struggle Committee ended its indefinite hunger strike, Mr. Sahayaraj switched on the microphone after the day’s protest was called to an end and began berating the media that was present there. He said that the media was mis-reporting issues and making it appear as if there are no people left in the protest pandal despite the presence of so many thousands. He declared that photographers who go around photographing empty spaces to project the struggle as weak should have their legs broken. This speech was made ostensibly to create disaffection among the media towards the struggle.

Mr. Sahayaraj is also being worked upon by two of his relatives — Mr. Besky and Mr. Stanley — who are reportedly DSPs in the TN Police. One is with the Q branch and another works in Theni district.

_________________________

+ Idinthakarai Update – April 10, 2012 – (from Nuclear Information and Resource Service)

Greetings! The daily relay fast has been happening here without interruption. Eleven of our comrades from Koodankulam have just been released on bail and each person has been asked to post 8 individual sureties holding properties worth more than Rs. 10,000. There are 30 more people in the Trichy prison, and 2 other friends, Muhilan and Satish facing the most serious charges. It is really strange that we are being treated like terrorists even by the courts. In fact, the Maoist groups in Orissa are able to get their comrades released from prisons by taking foreigners and state legislators as hostages. While we condemn this hostage-taking, we also wonder what kind of a message does the Indian State give to our youth. Nonviolent, peaceful fighters are being hounded and harassed, but violent fighters are granted their desires and wishes freely. Is this a good trend for our country?

Pushparayan, Jesuraj and I have been living in an open quater-km-radius prison since March 19, 2012. Thousands of people sleep around our house at night in order to protect us from possible police action and mid-night arrest. Hundreds of youth protect us round the clock.

I have been suffering from haemorrhoids (piles) for the past four days and the Catholic sisters who run a small clinic here at Idinthakarai have given me the best medicines that they have. My American friends used to swear,”pain in the butt” when they had to deal with difficult people; now I know the meaning of this phrase. We all know “shit happens.” But now I also know what happens when shit does not happen regularly. Oh, my! (Incidentally, please allow me to share with you a one-act play that I wrote last year and published it in a book “Peace Plays” with Professor Johan Galtung and Dr. Vital Rajan. If you like to use it in any way, please get permission from the Publisher.)

In fact, I have to see a doctor but I cannot leave this village as I would be arrested if I got out of here. All the “sedition’ and “waging war against the State” cases are still there and none of them has been withdrawn. My old parents and not-so-young wife call me every hour to suggest a new remedy for my predicament and the most recently-invented medication. I am in great pain and cannot sit down, or stand up. To tell you the truth, I cannot even cough. But I must evade the police, courts, prisons, and the related agonies of nonviolent public life. At least for the time being?!

There are credible newspaper reports that charge sheets are being prepared for all the 200 plus cases against us. The police are said to be dividing us all into two groups: masterminds and innocent people. Since we, the masterminds, “instigated” the innocent people to protest against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant, we are going to be booked under all the serious charges and the “ordinary citizens” would be let off. The Central Government is preparing to start a new organization called NCTC, National Counter-Terrorism Centre, similar to the American institution, Homeland Security. Some Chief Ministers in India oppose this NCTC as it infringes on the rights of the states as ‘law and order’ is a state issue. We do not know what is going to happen in May when all these people meet to decide on this undemocratic and anti-democratic initiative. I can only say, God Save India! And the whatever-little-democracy we have!

On April 9, 2012, a high-level delegation from the Communist Party of India (CPI) came to visit us at Idinthakarai under the leadership of the veteran leader Comrade R. Nallakannu. The CPI is still struggling with the problem of coming to a clear cut position on nuclear power. And another veteran Communist leader from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Comrade V.S. Achuthanandan, is scheduled to come here on April 12th. That party is also not very clear about the issue of nuclear power. But the fact that they are all coming to see us makes us a bit hopeful about achieving nuclear-free India.

Sincerely, S. P. Udayakumar

_________________________

+ Idinthakarai Update – April 5, 2012 – (from Nuclear Information and Resource Service)

On April 4 morning a police constable by the name Mr. Murugesan from Avaraikulam village beat up one Mr. Pathira Pandi from Koodankulam claiming the latter had asked the local shopkeepers to close their shops in support of our protest. Mr. Pandi suffered severe injuries on his face and chest. Since it is futile to complain to the local police about a local policeman, his family preferred not to file any complaint. They were also afraid of more police harassment including false cases.

We hear that the local police at Koodankulam are filing FIRs on every shopkeeper who does not open his shop. This is quite a new record on the Indian State’s upholding of our civil rights.

The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu had demanded all the power from the Koodankulam nuclear power plant for Tamil Nadu. Some of the Congress party leaders had also supported her claim. But the junior minister at the power ministry in Delhi has clarified that Tamil Nadu would get only 50 percent power from Koodankulam, other states would get 35 percent and the central pool would receive 15 percent. The people of Tamil Nadu expect the Chief Minister to explain her stand on the Koodankulam project now. The people of Tamil Nadu would pay a heavy price for the mega nuclear park but we will get only 50 percent power. There are plans to give electricity even to Sri Lanka from the Koodankulam project.

148 people from the coastal village of Koottapuli have been released from the prison and they were accorded a hero’s welcome by the village people when they all reached their homes on April 4th evening. Earlier large crowds of people including anti-nuclear activists and cadres of several political outfits welcomed and honored them at Tiruchi and Tirunelveli. Some 50 more people may get their bail applications approved today. But there is no official word on cancelling all the false cases that have been foisted on us.

Today is the 161st day of the relay hunger strike. On the 160th day yesterday thousands of people from all the neighboring villages and even some distant towns in Tamil Nadu participated in the hunger strike.

_________________________

Idinthakarai Update – March 27, 2012 – (from Nuclear Information and Resource Service)

Greetings! Ayya Pazha. Nedumaran, Vaiko, Thirumavalavan, Seeman, journalist Gnani and many many more good hearts have been asking us to stop the fast unto death immediately. Pushparayan, 13 of our comrades and I have been very very tired; three women fainted and were hospitalized yesterday. Rayan and I have some pain on our stomachs; and I have been feeling a bit dizzy. The government medical team checked on our health and found out that my pulse rate had come down. They wanted me to go to a nearby town for tertiary medical care but I refused to do that.

We have been asking the government to talk to us and this has taken 9 days for them to depute the District Collector for talks. People have chosen ten representatives from ten coastal and interior villages to go and talk to the Collector.

In the meantime, the police have charged all the 178 people from Koottapuli village with more serious case such as ‘waging war against the State’ and denied us the opportunity to take them out on bail. Similarly, the other friends who are locked up in Cuddalur prison have also been re-arrested in more serious cases. The Indian State is hell bent on destroying us and sending a lesson to all the anti-nuclear, anti-globalization and other anti-government protestors around the country. The governments would pass all kinds of pro-foreigner and anti-Indian bills on crucial issues such as Food Security, Water, FDI on retail business and undertake dangerous anti-Nature and anti-Future projects and we all should keep quiet and fall in line.

The simple question we want to ask all our Indian brothers and sisters is this: do we, Indian citizens, still have the right to oppose the government’s policies, programs and projects peacefully and democratically? If so, why does the Indian State want to destroy us all with cases of sedition, waging war against the State and so forth?

We have been fighting nonviolently without even a single case of violence or terror. We have not harmed or hurt or killed anybody; we have not damaged any private or public property. Then why are we being treated like this by the Indian State? Is it because our people are poor, lower caste, or most of them belong to minority communities such as Christians and Muslims? Please think of this.

What kind of message is this brutal behavior of the State sending to our youth? They cannot use either violence or nonviolence to demand their rights and entitlements; they should not complain about anything and simply help the rich become richer.

Some 70 percent of our people are poor; more than 50 percent of our people do not have toilets and basic human dignity; and some 46 percent of our infants are born malnourished and under-weight. Most of the political leaders, bureaucrats, scientists, military leaders and businessmen are robbing the people mercilessly. They are hoarding their ill-gotten wealth in Swiss banks; and they steal not just in lakhs or crores but in lakhs of crores. The poor people of India do not have even two square meals, and safe drinking water.

It is high time we, the people of India, stood up and took our country back! Cooperatively, peacefully, nonviolently and democratically! Before it is too late and we are re-colonized by Russians, Americans, the French and others.

Please save us from the cruel grip of the Indian State. We thank all our brothers and sisters who are already doing this all over the country. We need more people and more actions.

S. P. Udayakumar

_________________________

+ Idinthakarai Update – March 25, 2012 – (from Nuclear Information and Resource Service)

Dear Friends: 

Greetings! Pushparayan, the other 12 friends and I have become weaker and tired; but we are still able to sit up and talk to people. Today is the seventh day of the indefinite hunger strike. Nobody from the State Government or the Central Government has bothered to come and see us or talk to us. A medical team came to check our health day before yesterday (March 23) but no public health officials came and offered any help even though some 10,000 people have been congregating here at Idinthakarai every day since March 19th. Our friends from Idinthakarai have been cooking some simple meals for all these people and most of the people are sleeping here as there is the prohibitory order of 144 still in effect. They are scared of going out of this foot-ball stadium sized space in front of the St. Lourdes church. The police are waiting for me and Pushparayan to collapse so that we would go to an hospital for treatment and they could arrest us there. How cruel and anti-people our governments could become! 

In the meantime, the Tamil Nadu government has convened a meeting of some 13 Panchayat (local body) leaders to plan to distribute the 500-crore package the government has announced for the victims of nuclear development. The state police continues its crack down; they tried to arrest three men at Koodankulam and they managed to give a slip. The police go to some of the coastal villages and order them to go fishing in order to create a pictue of normalcy in the area. They also ask them not to carry any food by boat to Idinthakarai and threaten them with cases if they did. People defy this kind of intimidatory exercises.

This is a struggle (but ‘war’ in the eyes of our opponents) between rich, famous, powerful, upper-class and upper-caste pro-mega-development folks and poor, unknown, powerless, lower-class and lower-caste pro-sustainable development masses. The governments here work for the profit of Russia and not for the people of India. The governments engaged in massive power cuts over the past few months in order to create a huge hatred against us and opposition to our struggle. Now that they have resumed work at the Koodankulam plant, the officials say they do not know how long it will take for electricity generation. Now people of Tamil Nadu know that Koodankulam is not the answer for our power crisis. The people of Tamil Nadu and India will wake up to many such realities soon with regards to Pechipparai dam water, reprocessing plant at Koodankulam, weapons facilities, atomic bombs etc.

India is a highly- and densely-populated country and even a small mishap at a nuclear facility will create such a havoc and mayhem for millions of people and jeopardize the survival and wellbeing of millions and millions of our brothers and sisters. We are not against the progress of our country and state but we feel that such a progress should be longstanding and sustainable for our future generations also. We have no moral authority to poison the resources of our future generations in order to produce electricity for us for 40 years. We say that let India be a world leader with creative and original ideas and programs rather than the slave of Russia, United States and France.

The governments here are taking up a new weapon now and that is our alleged links with Naxalites (Maoists). They are fabricating evidences and concocting conversations to establish that we have connections with Naxal youth and trying to portray us as a violent group. The whole world knows that we have been struggling for the past eight months in a nonviolent manner with absolutely no violence or terror. They will fail as they have in the “foreign hand” and “foreign money” accusations. The governments are desperately trying to provoke our people to prove their theory that “ordinary citizens” of our country do not have a mind of their own; they cannot think for themselves; they cannot stand up for their rights and entitlements in a nonviolent noncooperation cmapaign; and most importantly, these fishermen, Nadars, Dalits, Muslims, women and children are all dispensable for the growth of the Chennai-based and Delhi-based multi-billionaires. Well, that is the logic of globalization and that is what we vehemently oppose. 

People power or nuclear power? Moral power or money power? Citizens’ power or State power? Which side you are on? The people of Tamil Nadu, and the people of India, please think of this! 

People here and I may die in this hunger strike or in a few years out of old age. But please think of the world, country, state you want to have for yourself and your progeny. That is what human politics is all about. I would leave the golden lines of Martin Niemoller, a German pastor and theologian for you to reflect on: 

First they came for the communists,

and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,

and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,

and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me

and there was no one left to speak out for me. 

S. P. Udayakumar

_________________________

+ Idinthakarai Update – March 22, 2012 (from Nuclear Information and Resource Service)

The situation here is still grim. There are some 10,000 people from coastal and interior villages. Most of them are women including pregnant women and nursing women. I myself saw many nursing women feeding their babied sweetened water as there was no milk coming to the village. More people are coming by boats and on foot as the access roads are all blocked by police. There is no bus service to this place. There is no sanitary complex and women bear the brunt of it. No public health official has ever come to help the people. 

Some 15 of us have been on indefinite hunger strike and no medical doctor has ever come here to check our health. The Dinamalam newspaper has reported today that we have all been eating heartily and pretending to be fasting. If this anti-Tamil newspaper can prove that there is a trace of food in my or Pushparayan’s stomach, we are ready to leave this protest. Otherwise, will they stop publishing this stupid paper? We are fighting for a cause not prostituting our soul like the Dinamalam does.

On March 21, my mother had received a phone call from one advocate by the name T. Udayakumar and he claimed he was calling from the DGP office in Chennai. He asked my mother to ask me to leave the protest so that all the cases against me would be dropped and I would get whatever I ask for. My mother told him that I was not a man of that nature and ended the conversation. That evening the Superintendent of Police of Tirunelveli District called me on my mobile and asked me to surrender alone so that people would not be affected. I told him that I was all ready for that but the people here at Idinthakarai also wanted to get arrested along with me and they would not let me go alone. I proposed to the SP to send enough number of buses and two police officers so that there would not be any stampede or tussle and we all would board the buses peacefully and go wherever they wanted us to go. He would not accept that proposition and said in anger: “This is the last time I talk to you.” There ended our conversation.

That night the police officer who was on security duty at our SACCER Matriculation School outside Nagercoil town had received a phone call from the Kanyakumari District SP office to go away from the school. Then a group of vandals, obviously with the blessings of the police, had entered the school and destroyed it very badly. The compound wall was completely demolished and the gate damaged. They ransacked the school bus after tearing down the car shed’s iron shutters. They had entered the KG classrooms and destroyed all the small little chairs which my children were using to sit on. They had broken all the tables and chairs and I do not understand why they punished my little children like this. The vandals had entered our school library and destroyed all the 12 glass bookshelves and tables and threw away the books. My 250 children are all avid readers and have been using our library extensively. This reminds me of the burning of the Public Library at Jaffna a few years ago.

The governments and the police treat and speak of me as if I were Osama bin Laden and our people some mindless terrorists. We resent this inhuman and brutal treatment . Electricity, water, milk and other essentials have been cut for two days; people cannot go out of and come into Idinthakarai as there is brutal police control. We are surrounded by police and I truly feel like I am at Mullivaickal. We are a group of simple people who have been fighting nonviolently and democratically against an untested foreign reactor with all kinds of problems and hiccups. We have not done any harm to anybody or anybody’s property in our eight-month long struggle. The whole country is proud of our people. 

The stalemate continues. There are protests happening all over the country and the state of Tamil Nadu. Whoever is farsighted enough to worry about the future of India’s “ordinary citizens,” our natural resources, the well-being of our progeny, the possibility of losing our freedom to the New Nuclear East India Companies and most importantly, the democratic fabric of our country support us. We thank them and you for standing with us. We are ready for any brutal police action but will not give up our nonviolent noncooperation campaign.

S.P. Udayakumar

_________________________

12 thoughts on “Koodankulam Speaks – Updates, Links, Photographs

  1. Excellent site you have here but I was wondering
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    talked about in this article? I’d really love to be a part of online community where I can get suggestions from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Kudos!

  2. Nuclear Power vs. People Power by Raminder Kaur. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists | Chai Kadai

  3. Photographs from Idinthakarai, Koodankulam – September 13, 2012 « Chai Kadai

  4. Bhopal Survivors condemn TN police brutalities against peaceful protestors & extend solidarity to those fighting against the Nuclear Plant « Chai Kadai

  5. Photographs from Idinthakarai, Koodankulam 09 and 10 September 2012 « Chai Kadai

  6. Mass RTI Campaign Seeking Urgent Information Under Life and Liberty for Koodankulam « Chai Kadai

  7. IDINTHAKARAI, KOODANKULAM UPDATE. 09 SEPTEMBER 2012 « Chai Kadai

  8. My Nagaland « Chai Kadai

  9. No Celebration Goes Unpunished — Fabricated.in

  10. No Celebration Goes Unpunished « Chai Kadai

  11. Recent photographs from Idinthakarai, Koodankulam « Chai Kadai

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