Update: Investigate Koodankulam Irregularities – Letter from Seventeen Eminent Activists, Scientists and Retd. Government Officials

10 September 2012

Photograph by Amirtharaj Stephen

23 October 2014

We, the undersigned, are deeply disturbed at newspaper reports about the serious damage sustained by Koodankulam Unit 1’s turbine even before the plant has begun commercial operation. We are also concerned at the total lack of accountability of the Department of Atomic Energy, NPCIL and AERB with respect to the Koodankulam project, and are worried about the safety ramifications of persisting with the commissioning of Unit 1 without a thorough and independent review of the plant, its components and the processes of setting it up. We are also shocked to see that unmindful of the problems plaguing Units 1 and 2, and the issues arising from lack of transparency in the nuclear establishment, NPCIL and the Government of India are moving ahead with work on Units 3 and 4.

It is now confirmed that Unit 1’s turbine is severely damaged and would require replacement. One Tamil newspaper reports that the turbine may be manufactured in India, and that this may entail a delay of two months. This is yet another instance of prevarication. Replacing a turbine at a nuclear power plant will take a lot longer than two months. As usual, no official clarification has been forthcoming from Nuclear Power Corporation India Ltd or its regulator, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. If the reports about the damaged turbine are true, then it is cause for serious concern. The delay in commissioning is the least of the problems; the damaged turbine spotlights far more fundamental issues that impinge on the long-term viability and safety of the reactor. It vindicates allegations by observers and civil society about the compromised quality control and assurance system in India, and raises troubling and as yet unanswered questions about the substandard quality of equipment purchased from Russia.

The manner in which Koodankulam Units 1 and 2 have been constructed represent everything that is wrong with the Indian nuclear establishment. Equipment for the nuclear reactor and related infrastructure arrived way before they were erected, and had to spend years exposed to corrosive sea-air. Instrumentation and other cables that had to be laid before the construction of the containment dome arrived well after the dome was completed. To “manage” this, Indian engineers demolished portions of the containment dome to insert several kilometers of cabling. This is not only unprecedented in nuclear history, but also extremely worrisome for two reasons – first, it compromises the integrity of the containment dome; second, it highlights the casual and unplanned manner in which an extremely delicate and highly risky facility such as a nuclear reactor is actually being constructed.

Many components and critical equipment were manufactured by corruption-tainted companies that had reportedly used substandard raw material. Where countries like China and Bulgaria, which also received such substandard components, held Russian manufacturers to account and forced them to replace or repair such components, Indian authorities continue to deny that any such problem exists. To make matters worse, the entire exercise is shrouded in unnecessary secrecy with NPCIL and the AERB either remaining mum or communicating with partial truths or outright lies.

For these problems to happen at a nuclear reactor that has been at the focus of massive public attention makes us shudder to think what is being passed off in other less visible nuclear projects. While Indian reactors have had an average lead time of 5 months between attaining criticality and commencing commercial production, Koodankulam’s Unit 1 will take more than two years to meet this milestone if ever it does.

We urge the Prime Minister’s office to commission an enquiry into the irregularities at Koodankulam Units 1 and 2, including an interrogation into how such a shoddy plant managed to secure safety, environmental and quality clearances. Such a move will inspire confidence in the minds of public regarding the intentions of the Government.

Sincerely,
Admiral (Retd) L. Ramdas, former Chief of Staff, Indian Navy, Raigad, Maharashtra
Lalita Ramdas, environment and women’s rights activist, Raigad, Maharashtra
E.A.S. Sarma, I.A.S. (Retd), former Union Secretary of Power, Vishakapatnam
M. G. Devasahayam, I.A.S. (Retd), Chennai
Medha Patkar, National Alliance of People’s Movements
Aruna Roy, Social Activist, MKSS
Nikhil Dey, Social Activist, MKSS
Dr. Suvrat Raju, Scientist, Bengaluru
Dr. M.V. Ramana, Scientist, Princeton, USA
Dr. K. Babu Rao, Scientist (Retd), Hyderabad
Dr. T. Swaminathan, Professor (Retd), IIT-Madras
Dr. Atul Chokshi, Professor, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru
Praful Bidwai, Columnist, New Delhi
Arati Chokshi, Social Activist, Bengaluru
Achin Vanaik, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace, New Delhi
G. Sundarrajan, Poovulagin Nanbargal, Chennai
Dr. S.P. Udayakumar, PMANE, Nagercoil
Nityanand Jayaraman, writer and social activist, Chennai
Gabriele Dietrich, NAPM, Madurai

Please copy-paste and circulate this letter.

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Update: KKNPP Must Tell the Whole Truth

Driving in Kopachi, the buried village in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
via Miguel Ortega Lafuente

If you are pro-nuclear for the benefit of progress of your beloved country, your imagination of anti-nuclear ‘activists’ might merely be of a hypocritical bunch of thumb-twiddlers waiting for disaster to win a simple argument. We don’t want another Chernobyl, Cancer Street, Pripyat, or Kopachi in your/our beloved country. We don’t want our fish to die of brine accumulation or radioactive bio-magnification. We don’t want people to disappear and houses to be buried. We want transparent, trust-worthy technology that actually cares about the breathing lives in this land and sea. We don’t want disaster. And heck if disaster happens, we truly know we have nothing in place to manage it!

sam pc

Koodankulam Press Release | October 20, 2014
KKNPP Must Tell the Whole Truth and the Director Must Go

The turbine of the first unit at the KKNPP is said to have developed some major problem. Although the first unit attained criticality in July 2013, it has not begun commercial operation yet even after 15 months of its erratic functioning. Even before starting its commercial operations “the world class third generation plant” is on the blink. It is ironic that the Department of Atomic Energy, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, KKNPP and scores of pro-government scientists have been issuing “the best and the safest” certification to this project for the past three years.

It is reliably learnt now that the faulty equipment in the turbine are being replaced and it may take a considerable amount of time to do that. It is quite pertinent to note here that there was a valve burst at the first unit a few months back and six workers were badly injured. All this attest to our claim that they have used shoddy and substandard parts at the Koodankulam project.

The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board tested all the equipment and their functioning so carefully and methodically and issued certificates for each step. How come they did not detect any problems with the turbine then? What kind of tests did they do? How did they give “all clear” certification? If this is the efficiency and efficacy of the AERB, we have to be really worried about the safety and security of 8 crore Tamils and 4 crore Malayalis in the southern tip of India.

It is really disconcerting that the KKNPP authorities remain tight-lipped about the excessive diesel purchase, recurrent accidents, and equipment malfunctioning that keep happening at the KKNPP. Mr. R. S. Sundar, the Site Director of the KKNPP, must resign from his job. He has been refusing to tell the truth to the people of this country and the press about the KKNPP. This is a major dereliction of duty. He would do the same mistake even if a major accident were to happen here at Koodankulam. It is not clear who he is trying to protect. It is also not clear if he does care about the safety and security of the people of this area. People in this region cannot sleep peacefully with our children with officers like Mr. Sundar in charge of a mega nuclear power park. So he must resign from his job.

Interestingly, the Russian Ambassador to India, Mr. Alexander Kadakin, has spoken recently that the Koodankulam nuclear power project is the best and the safest in the world and that his country would sell some 22 more plants to India. But today we hear that the turbine is not working at Koodankulam. The turbines the Russians had supplied to China (Tianwan) and to Iran (Busher) had serious problems too. We have strong reasons to believe that there are problems not only in the turbine of the KKNPP but also in the reactor core and other crucial areas.

When the first two reactors at Koodankulam are limping and tumbling, it would be a reckless move to erect two more reactors at the Koodankulam site. It is all too clear that the KKNPP project is a complete and total failure and it must be shut down permanently to safeguard the safety and security of the people of the southern tip of India.

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy
Idinthakarai

Koodankulam Update: Hot water spillage injures six workers at the nuclear power plant

14 May, 2014. 2.00 p.m. Shopkeepers from Anjugramam, a village about 15 km from Koodankulam nuclear complex, reported seeing at least 6 ambulances rushing by at around 1.15 p.m. Anjugramam lies near a fork in the road, where one fork leads to Kanyakumari town and the other to Nagercoil. Another Idinthakarai resident, Mildred, who was at Myladi (25 km from Koodankulam) reported seeing 3 ambulances rush by at around 1.45 p.m. Myladi is en route Nagercoil. Nagercoil and Kanyakumari are two major towns within 30 km of the nuclear plant, with large hospitals. Predictably, the nuclear establishment denied the occurrence of any accident first. Later they admitted to a minor incident and are reported to have said that the injured were taken to the hospital in the NPCIL township, where they were well enough to walk on their own. Sources from inside the plant report that at least three of the injured were contract workers and the other three were NPCIL staff. Reports also suggest that the accident happened in or around the boiler section of Unit 1, which reportedly attained criticality mid-year last year.
After initially flashing news about the incident, the media is now reportedly playing NPCIL’s statements denying and downplaying the incident. If NPCIL’s past record is anything to go by, truth will be a while in coming. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was unavailable for comment.
This accident comes less than a week after the Honourable Supreme Court ruled that it was satisfied with the safety features installed at the plant.

Conversation with NPCIL, Koodankulam Station Director R.S. Sundar on his mobile phone 9443350706 at around 3.40 p.m, on 14 May 2014

NJ (me): Hello Sir. This is Nityanand. I’m a freelance writer. I’m calling to find out if the workers admitted at Krishna Kumar Hospital in Nagercoil are from your plant.
RSS: Who are you? First tell me who you are.
NJ: My name is Nityanand Jayaraman and I’m a freelance journalist from Chennai, currently speaking from Coonoor.
RSS: I don’t speak to freelance journalists, only normal journalists.
NJ: Sir, I am a normal journalist. There are a lot of rumours doing the rounds. I merely wanted to confirm that there was an incident at Koodankulam.
RSS: What did you say your name was?
NJ: Nityanand Jayaraman.
RSS: I don’t know you. Who do you write for?
NJ: I’m a freelancer sir. I write opinion pieces and have published in Yahoo, The Hindu, Tehelka and have written extensively about Koodankulam.
RSS: I only speak to journalists I know.
NJ: Obviously, you can’t know all the journalists. How can I get a confirmation then?
RSS: You go speak to someone else. Speak to Corporate Communications.
NJ: You seem very angry with the media sir. Any problem?
RSS: No problem. There is nothing. i don’t know you. That’s all.
NJ: But you are not likely to know many of the international media either. How can you speak to them then?
RSS: I cannot speak to international media. I cannot speak to you.
NJ: I am not from the international media. I am a Chennai based freelancer. I just wanted a simple confirmation sir. Did any incident take place at Koodankulam today?
RSS: You come on the land line.
NJ: Can you give me the land line number sir?
RSS: You speak to Corporate Communications.
NJ: Can you give me their number sir?
RSS: No. I don’t have it. You call on the land line.
NJ: Can I have the number sir?
[Hands it over to assistant]
Assistant: Take down sir. 259718.
NJ: Area code sir?
Assistant: 04637
NJ: Who should I speak to sir?
Assistant: You just call that number?
NJ: Who should I ask for?
Assistant: Speak to the person who picks up the phone.
[Hangs up]

It makes one wonder, especially when the person who picks up the phone when I called says cryptically that “All the injured are in conscious condition.” If it is a “small incident” as stated by Mr. R.S. Sundar to NDTV, why all this cloak and dagger. If the plant has a sound disaster/emergency response system, why did they have to drive more than 1 hour on bad roads to Nagercoil to treat the injuries from a “small incident.” Clearly, NPCIL does not have a disaster management plan in place, and its corporate communications itself is a disaster that has to be managed.

Click to read Of small incidents and big disasters, Tehelka.com

Wednesday’s accident did not involve radiation. Burns and broken bones are common workplace injuries. It is precisely the commonplace nature of this incident and how it was handled that expose how the Koodankulam set-up has all the ingredients required to bungle the handling of major emergencies. These ingredients are: poor and non-transparent communication, lack of emergency response infrastructure, non-compliance with operating procedures, lack of quality assurance of equipment and personnel…

Shared by Nityanand Jayaraman, a writer and volunteer with the Chennai Solidarity Group for Koodankulam Struggle.

Games for Actors and Non-Actors excerpt – The Nuclear Power Station

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see a dance piece where the dancers dance in the first act, and in the second showed the audience how to dance? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see a musical where in the first act the actors sang and in the second we all sang together?

What would also be wonderful would be a theatre show where we, the artists, would present our world-view in the first act and where in the second act, they, the audience, could create a newworld.

Let them create it first in the theatre, in fiction, to be better prepared to create it outside afterwards, for real.” (p.29)

Forum Theatre is a technique, or a compendium of methodologies, developed in the 1970s by a Brazilian theatre director, Augusto Boal. It creates a theatre where the audience is encouraged to be participants (spect-actors) in identifying and dramatizing the connections between socio-cultural problems, economic and political repression, and also internal and personal oppressions. First, a group of actors devise, rehearse and enact a play presenting a certain view of the world, with at least one political or social problem, which can be analysed during the forum session. Then, the spect-actors are asked if they agree with the solutions given by the protagonist. The actors then perform the play one more time, but this time the audience members can yell stop and take the space of the protagonist and change actions. Forum theatre plays can be surreal, linear, or in any style or genre that organically grows from the rehearsals, but the objective must be to discuss concrete situations. Games for Actors and Non-Actors is a collection of games and exercises that can be used in any space that needs discussion, dialogue, theatre, and action. Boal has written experiential notes along with the games, to give you the context of where it was developed, and how it played out. Here is an excerpt from the book, an example of a forum theatre play in Sweden, discussing many themes we have spoken about in Chai Kadai –

“In Sweden, the controversy over nuclear energy and the construction of power stations was very much a live issue. Some even said that the main reason for the gunning down of Prime Minister Olof Palme was his having affirmed that he would pursue a policy of nuclear gearing-up. His opponents said the opposite – and afterwards, they did it anyway…

1st action

Eva is in her office, at work. The scene shows friends, the Boss, day-to-day problems, the process of finding new projects to work on, the daily grind of a hard life.

2nd action

Eva is at home; her husband is out of work, their daughters are spendthrifts, they need money. A Female Friend drops round, they go out. They go straight to a demonstration against the construction of atomic power plants.

3rd action

Back at the office. The Boss comes in whooping with joy: a new project has been accepted! Everyone celebrate the news! Champagne is consumed! Joy unbounded…. till the Boss explains what this new project is about – the development of a refrigeration system for a nuclear power station. Eva is torn; she needs work, she wants to support her fellow workers, but this situation poses a moral problem for her. She gives all the reason she can for not accepting this new project, and her colleagues give their opposing reasons. Finally Eva gives in and accepts the job!

The forum

In this piece it was clear that the protagonist was going to have to commit an error and not be heroic. The audience almost cried when Eva gave in. And the effect of this was an extraordinary intensification of the fight – the game of actors/oppressors against spect-actors/oppressed – when it came to finding reasons for Eva to say no. Each time a spect-actor gave in and saw that she was beaten, the piece rapidly retraced its path towards Eva’s ‘Yes’. Passions in the audience ran high again till someone shouted ‘Stop!’; then the scene stopped a new spect-actor tried a new solution starting from the first action, or the second, or even the third. Everythin was analysed: the husband’s unemployment, the daughters’ mania for consumption, Eva’s indecision. Sometimes the analysis was purely ‘psychological’, then another actor would come in and try to show the political side of the problem.

Should we be for or against nuclear power stations? Can one be against scientific progress? Can the word ‘progress’ be applied to science when it leads us to the discovery of nuclear weapons?

And on the question of the disposal of ‘nuclear waste’: surely it could be satisfactorily disposed of in a social system whose central value was the human being rather than the profit motive.

I have already twice had the opportunity to take part in pieces of this kind. The first time was in the USA, where an analogous piece had been written about the inhabitants of a town which was producing the napalm used in Vietnam. In the end, in the American example, the inhabitants accepted the factory, reaching the conclusion that it would be economically ruinous to close it….. Ruinous for whom? The second time was in Lisbon, again with a similar model: there is a refinery there which is causing a noticeable increase in the occurrence for lung cancer…. but it is important for the economy. Here again, the residents give way and resigned themselves to living with pollution, rather than living without jobs.” (p. 26, 27, 28.)

Read more on the International Theatre of the Oppressed Organisation’s website: www.theatreoftheoppressed.org

shared by samyuktha pc

Photographs from Koodankulam, near Idinthakarai – September 13, 2012

by Amirtharaj Stephen

(read more in Koodankulam Speaks)

Confirmed Updates, Idinthakarai, Koodankulam: 11 September 2012. 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.

Police violence on peaceful protesters in Koodankulam – An update

RECENT UPDATE:

Friends in the media have reported that all top police brass have gathered in Koodankulam to chalk out a strategy to wipe out the movement. According to the media sources, intelligence officials are reporting that two women police are missing and are untraceable. Villagers say that no policepersons have been taken hostage. It is feared that this rumour is being used to fuel public opinion against the protestors and to justify any repressive action by the police against villagers. In this context, to pre-empt any untoward incident, Mr. S.P. Udayakumar has announced that key leaders of the movement will surrender tonight at Koodankulam Police Station in the presence of prominent political leaders.

YESTERDAY’S GOINGS ON

Responding to the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board’s clearance to commence nuclear fuel loading in the Koodankulam plant, the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy announced that protestors would lay siege to the plant on 9 September. Police force was deployed in huge numbers in the area. On that day, between 8000 and 10000 people, including children and women from Idinthakarai and neighbouring villages started from the Lourde Matha church in Idinthakarai. They walked down the coastal path avoiding the road route and were stopped by the police around 800 metres away from the plant. The protesters sat down on the sea shore and said they will continue their struggle from there. S.P.Udayakumar, co-ordinator of the struggle committee, announced that they want the Tamilnadu government to intervene and respond to the demands of the protesting masses. All the protesters stayed put on the sea shore braving the weather and other hardships.

On the morning of the 10th of september, the police came in with the strike force resorted to a tentative lathi charge around 10.30 am. After a scuffle that lasted a few minutes, police withdrew to a distance and uneasy calm prevailed. “The situation is back to normal,” a protestor told us at 10.30, as if anything about the situation could be considered normal. The congregation of mostly baton-wielding police forces swelled in size. A large riot-gear bedecked police force was in the frontline facing the people, and tear gas lobbers were on stand-by.

After sometime two young men on a fibre boat tried to go towards KKNP. The protesters were against this and took permission from the police and went towards the young men and spoke them back to the place they were all sitting. As the two young men came back the police according to the Tirunelveli SP Vijendra Bidari’s orders, nabbed them. This caused unrest amongst the protesters and they argued with the police, asking why they’re arresting them after they have come back. Around this time at 11.30 Tirunelveli SP Vijendra Bidari announced the protesters to disperse in ten minutes failing which police will take action.

Women formed the first line of protestors and were closest to the plant, while the children and men strung out along the beach towards the Idinthakarai village. Just before the strike began, DIG Rajesh Das instructed the strike force to move towards the centre of the congregation and enter from the centre so as to divide the women and men.

As people all over Tamilnadu and elsewhere were watching this live on television, and even as the reporter was announcing that the ten minute countdown has started we could see tear gas shells being lobbed at the protesters. According to protester who was at the site, “A small commotion over policemen pushing two volunteer youth started and a few women shouted at the police men and a crowd gathered around them. Police men ran towards there and started lathi charge. Even before we could realise, tear gas shells were lobbed at us.”

As we could see from the live telecast, many teargas shells were lobbed and police went into the crowd in force and resorted to heavy lathicharging. Caught between a tide of armed police and the ocean, women and children tried to throw handsful of sand at the policemen to escape lathi blows; children were caught in the melee. A large number of men jumped into the sea, even as members of the Rapid Action Force were caught on television pelting stones,sticks and slippers at those at sea. The police were threatening those wading in the sea with death and bodily harm upon their return to the beach. At one point, the source of this information heard a policeman pointing out to a youth holding a mobile phone and shouting that he was holding a bomb. The source intervened to point out that it was a mobile phone.

Sahaya Initha, a prominent leader of the movement and a ward councillor, was targetted by the police and badly injured.

In a television interview, S.P. Udayakumar, who had by then moved to safety, said that he had been shot at. This incident was confirmed by other by-standers who said that shots were fired at the fibre boat in which Udayakumar was attempting to leave the site.

Media People Injured

Several media persons were injured, and at least one cameraman from Times Now was intentionally targetted. With most of the action centred around the seashore, a separate posse of policemen went about systematically breaking the vehicles used by protestors to come to the protest site. Only one cameraman, from Times Now, was present videographing the actions. The police attacked him causing serious injuries. He required at least four stitches above his eyebrow. His camera was destroyed and thrown into the sea, and the videotape reportedly removed.

Unconfirmed reports state that the motorcycles belonging to three media persons were also damaged in the police action.

A Dinakaran reporter was roughed up, and the Makkal TV reporter was pushed into the thorns.

Police Vandalism

Following in the heels of the departing people, the police also systematically destroyed the expensive outboard engines on the boats parked on the beach. One constable was working to set fire to the pandal, but stopped when he saw a photographer (the source of this information) poised to capture his act on camera. The photographer then alerted the Puthiya Thalaimurai reporter Mr. Ramanujam. The constable tried one more time before giving up, and angrily told the photographer that the latter was disrupting his work. The pandal on the seashore was pulled down. The lights and speakers were broken. Sand was thrown in the food that was prepared for lunch by the protestors.

Entering Idinthakarai

During the course of the melee at the seaside, a separate force of about 400 police persons entered the Idinthakarai village. The media was busy covering the riot-like situation on the coast and did not accompany the police force that went to Idinthakarai village. The police went door-to-door searching for men. When they reached the seaside, they saw about 150 to 200 youth gathered there. The youth dived into the sea to take refuge, while the police opened fire and taunted them from the shore threatening them with dire consequences when they return to shore.

Church Desecrated

It was during this time that the police desecrated the Lourdu Matha shrine. Idols were broken. Policemen spat andurinated inside the church. The pandal (tent) erected to provide shelter to the protestors was pulled down, and the lights vandalized. The water cans were broken. The Tamil Nadu Water and Drainage Board’s public water supply point in Koodankulam village too was reportedly broken.

Women who were watching the goings-on from hidden vantage points also reported that unknown men in white dhotis and shirts were seen stoning police vehicles with the police photographing the same.

News reports stated that the Panchayat office and the local TASMAC (Government-owned wine shop) in Koodankulam were set on fire by the villagers. However, the villagers in Koodankulam insist that no such incident happened. They admit that the awning (asbestos shelter) protruding from the wine shop was damaged. But neither the Panchayat office nor the TASMAC shop were set on fire or damaged.

Later in the evening around sixty five people were arrested from the Koodankulam village. Between 2.00 pm and 3.00 pm the police carried out a house to house search.

Last evening, the police entered the Tsunami Colony in Idinthakarai and conducted a door-to-door search. They also reported damaged a few of the houses.

Current Situation

An uneasy calm prevails. Essential supplies to Idinthakarai village have been blocked. All of yesterday, there was no water, especially since the water reserve was emptied by the police forces. As of 9.30 a.m. on 11 September, no supplies have been allowed to reach the village from beyond Thomas Mandapam, the location of the police barricade. One tractor-load of water was brought in at around 9.30 a.m. from a local source.

At the end of 10.09.2012, we got news that electricity connection to 5 villages has been cut off. Reports say that phone lines many of the villagers are being tapped in order to locate UdayaKumar and the struggle commitee leaders.

Within hours of the police crackdown, protests across the fishing villages across Southern Tamilnadu spread like wildfire. One fisherman, Anthony Samy (40 years) was shot dead in Manappad village, Thoothukudi district. More than 10,000 protestors staged a rail roko at Thoothukudi station delaying the Mysore Express by more than 2 hours.

Injuries, Arrests and Hospitalisations

Many people were arrested at the seashore. Following are the names of some of the people who were arrested:

Sundari; Xavier Amma; Selvi; Bedlin (Kootapuli); Lourdusamy; Rose

A journalist source reported to Dianuke.org that the DIG Rajesh Das had told him that 25 people were arrested yesterday.

One child from Koodankulam was reportedly hit on the head by a tear gas shell, and is said to be in a critical stage in the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital. At the time of writing (September 11. 10 a.m.), no confirmation could be obtained about this incident.

The following is a list of people currently hospitalised at the Lourdu Matha Hospital in Idinthakarai:

1. Gnanaprakasam, Male, 80

  1. David, M. 49. Idinthakarai
  2. Gloudin, M, 35, Idinthakarai
  3. Jeniker, M, 26, Idinthakarai
  4. Selvan, M, age not known, Idinthakarai
  5. Joseph, M, 47, village not known
  6. Michael, M, 28, Koothenkuli
  7. Valan, M, 23, Koothenkuli
  8. Thangasamy, M, age not known, Koodankulam
  9. Jeniker, M, 24, Idinthakarai
  10. Kennedy, M, 50, Idinthakarai
  11. Mahiban, M, 3, Idinthakarai
  12. Initha, F, age not known, Idinthakarai
  13. Chennammal, F, Idinthakarai
  14. Jesu Ammal, F, Idinthakarai

Three people hospitalised in Lourdu Matha Hospital, Idinthakarai, were subsequently transferred by the police to a different location. But their current whereabouts are not known. The three people are:

1. Selson, M, Idinthakarai

2. Siluvai John, M, Koothenkuli

3. Jesu, M, Idinthakarai

Sahaya Initha

Anti- nuke activists arrested: 3 anti- nuke activists Suseendaran, Vivekanandan and Thirumurugan were arrested by the DC Saidapet when they went to extend solidarity for the protesting students of Nandanam Arts and Science College. They were released at around 7:30 p.m.

Tamil Nadu has a long tradition of using excessive force to quell protests particularly by marginalised communities. In 1999, 17 dalit tea estate workers were chased into the River Thamiraparani in Tirunelveli district by a baton-charging police force which had descended to quell a strike demanding better working conditions. Exactly a year ago, in Paramakudi, the police violently broke up a dalit gathering to honour their leader Immanuel Sekaran’s, gave hot chase to fleeing people, and shot and killed six dalits and injured more than 30.

Solidarity Protests:

Chennai:

  • Students from Nandanam Arts and Science College staged a lock-in at their campus .
  • Human Rights Protection Council staged a dharna at the Madras High Court.
  • Ma Kaa Ee ka, staged a protest at Panagal Malligai and news report say that 30 people were arrrested.
  • Manitha Neya Makkal Katchi staged a protest in Parry’s Corner and news reports state that 300 were arrested.
  • Amidst heavy police presence, a dozen protestors submitted RTI applications at the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd’s office in Egmore, Chennai, demanding information within 2 days because the matter concerns the lives and liberties of local residents.

Tiruchi:

  • Advocates protested at the TIruchi District Court campus.
  • Ma Kaa Ee Kaa staged a protest at Tiruchi Bus Station along with support groups.

Coimbatore:

  • Law college students staged a protest and were lathi charged and dispersed.

Kumbakonam:

  • Members of Naam Thamizhar blocked a road.

Thoothukudi:

  • Nearly 10,000 people, including a large number of fisherfolk, are reported to have staged a protest in front of the Lady of Snows Church in Thoothukudi. All nationalised banks pulled down their shutters in solidarity.
  • Protestors also staged a rail roko and blocked the Mysore express train.

Kanyakumari

  • Fishing boats observed a no-fishing day. The harbour is closed even today (11 September, 2012)

Manappad, Thoothukudi district

  • Fisherfolk rallied against police atrocities. One man shot dead.

Periyathazhai and Uvari, Thoothukudi district

  • Spontaneous protests by fisherfolk against police action

Tirunelveli

  • Naam Thamizhar and other supporters blockaded the main road near the Tirunelveli junction. About 40 protestors were detained and released in the evening.

New Delhi:

  • Koodankulam solidarity protest took place in front of the TamilNadu Bhavan, New Delhi.

Pune

  • Lokayat organised a protest.