A comprehensive book on India’s Atomic Energy establishment.

A book in English published by Aakar Books in association with Lokayat, Pune to create awareness amongst people regarding nuclear energy. The book  critically examines the most important claims made about the benefits of nuclear energy, that it is clean and safe, cheap, and green and is the answer to global warming. It also takes a close look at the reality of the claims about a ‘global nuclear renaissance’, by examining the present scenario and the likely future prospects for nuclear energy in North America and Western Europe. We are publishing an excerpt of the Intoduction to this book (Nuclear Energy – Technology from hell), you can also download a PDF version form the link.

INTRODUCTION

PART I: GOVERNMENT PLANS FOR NUCLEAR ENERGY

The government of India is promoting nuclear energy as a solution to the country’s future energy needs and is embarking on a massive nuclear energy expansion program. It expects to have 20,000 MW nuclear power capacity online by 2020 1 and 63,000 MW by 2032 2 . The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has projected that India would have an astounding 275,000 MW of nuclear power capacity by 2050, which is expected to be 20 per cent of India’s total projected electricity generation capacity by then. 3 The signing of the Indo-US Nuclear Deal having opening up the possibility of uranium and nuclear reactor imports, the Prime Minister stated, in September 2009, that India could have an even more amazing 470,000 MW of nuclear capacity by 2050. 4 Dr Anil Kakodkar, then Chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), is even more optimistic. He has predicted that India’s nuclear energy capacity could reach 600-700 thousand MW and account for 40 per cent of the estimated total power generation by 2050. 5 This would be a quantum leap from the present scenario. As of March 31, 2010, the total installed power generation capacity in the country was 159,400 MW, of which the contribution of nuclear power —more than sixty years after the atomic energy program was established and forty years after the first nuclear reactor started feeding electricity to the grid—was just 4560 MW, 6 or 2.86 per cent of the total. Thus, the projected capacity in 2050 would represent an increase by a factor of over a hundred.

New Projects

The government has taken rapid steps to implement this plan. Following the Indo-US Nuclear Deal, it has given ‘in principle’ approval to setting up a string of giant size nuclear parks all along India’s coastline, each having six to eight reactors of between 1000 to 1650 MW—at Mithivirdi (Gujarat), Jaitapur (Maharashtra), Kudankulam (Tamil Nadu), Kovvada (Andhra Pradesh) and Haripur (West Bengal). It is also proposing to set up four indigenous reactors of 700 MW each at Gorakhpur in Haryana, and another two similar reactors at Chutka in Madhya Pradesh. To meet the fuel needs of these plants, it is proposing to set up several new uranium mining projects: at Tummalapalle (Kadapa district) and Lambapur-Peddagattu (Nalgonda district) in Andhra Pradesh, Gogi (near Gulbarga) in Karnataka and West Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya.

Government Claims

Justifying this huge push for nuclear energy, India’s politicians, nuclear scientists and many prominent intellectuals are claiming that nuclear energy is clean, safe, green and cheap. This propaganda campaign is being led from the front by the Prime Minister himself. Here are a few quotes from some of his recent statements (emphasis ours in all quotes):

  • At the inauguration of a new fuel reprocessing plant at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Tarapur on January 7, 2011: He praised the plant at Tarapur as ‘an outstanding example of clean, economic and safe energy that our nation requires’.
  • At the Nuclear Security Summit, held in Washington, D.C. on April 13, 2010: Today, nuclear energy has emerged as a viable source of energy to meet the growing needs of the world in a manner that is environmentally sustainable. There is a real prospect for nuclear technology to address the developmental challenges of our times … The nuclear industry’s safety record over the last few years has been encouraging. It has helped to restore public faith in nuclear power.
  • Speech after dedicating Tarapur-3 and 4 atomic reactors to the nation on August 31, 2007: A nuclear renaissance is taking place in the world, ‘and we cannot afford to miss the bus or lag behind these global developments.’ Elaborating on the reasons for the growing importance of nuclear energy, he stated: ‘Our long-term economic growth is critically dependent on our ability to meet our energy requirements of the future … [Since] our proven reserves of coal, oil, gas and hydropower are totally insufficient to meet our requirements (and) the energy we generate has to be affordable, not only in terms of its financial cost, but in terms of the cost to our environment’, this was the reason why ‘we place so much importance on nuclear energy’.
  • Statement to the Indian Parliament on July 29, 2005, after returning from a visit to the United States where the first steps were taken towards signing what has come to be known as the ‘Indo-US Nuclear Deal’: ‘Energy is a crucial input to propel our economic growth … it is clear that nuclear power has to play an increasing role in our electricity generation plans … For this purpose, it would be very useful if we can access nuclear fuel as well as nuclear reactors from the international market … There is also considerable concern with regard to global climate change arising out of CO2 emissions. Thus, we need to pursue clean energy technologies. Nuclear power is very important in this context as well.’ Since ‘the US understood our position in regard to our securing adequate and affordable energy supplies, from all sources’ and because President Bush was willing to ‘work towards promoting nuclear energy as a means for India to achieve energy security’, this was the reason why India has decided to enter into a nuclear cooperation agreement with the USA.

On January 18, 2011, at an ‘open house’ on the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project organised by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra in coordination with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL), to clear misconceptions about nuclear power, an entire galaxy of scientists and doctors emphasised that nuclear power was safe, clean and green. They stated that the claims made by activists and scientists opposing nuclear energy—that radiation leakage from nuclear plants has a horrendous impact on human health, that it causes cancer and birth deformities in children, that mankind has yet to find a solution to the problem of what to do with the terribly radioactive waste generated by nuclear plants and that nuclear plants are prone to catastrophic accidents—were either an exaggeration, or lies:

  • S.K. Jain, NPCIL chairman and managing director, claimed that India already runs 20 nuclear plants without any blemish on its safety record.
  • The ‘experts’ claimed that nuclear plants do not harm the environment. Dr S.P. Dharne from the NPCIL said that nuclear power was clean and green energy, and that it could reduce the impact of global warming since it did not generate carbon dioxide. 12 Dr Srikumar Banerjee, current Chairman of the AEC, in fact, came up with the fantastic claim that flora and fauna had actually increased around India’s nuclear plants.
  • Dr Anil Kakodkar, former Chairman of the AEC, tried to prove that the atomic waste generated by the Jaitapur nuclear plant would not cause any problems, as ‘there is no question of the waste being thrown in the open areas’. He stated that the nuclear waste would be ‘taken to reprocessing plant afteruse’, and therefore ‘[t]here is no hazard of the waste to the biodiversity of Konkan region.’
  • On fears about radiation leakages from nuclear power plants, the government experts came up with another amazing explanation: they stated that the belief that nuclear plants cause impotency and cancer and deformities among children is due to superstitions because of illiteracy! 15 Dr Rajendra Badwe, head of the Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital, tritely stated that the plant was safe as, otherwise, it would not have been permitted. Referring to the survey by the anti-nuclear activist-scientist Dr Surendra Gadekar on the incidence of abnormalities in children around the Rawatbhata Atomic Power Station in Rajasthan, which has been published in a leading international journal, he blithely lied that the report was without any foundation since it had not been peerreviewed and published in reputed scientific journals. On the contrary, he made the bewildering claim that radiation was used to cure cancers. 16 Nuclear scientists Sharad Kale and Shrikumar Apte said there would not be any effect of radiation on agricultural products and marine life in the area.

The propaganda is so intense that most people in the country, at least those who read the newspapers and watch television, believe that nuclear energy is an environmentally friendly solution to India’s power shortages.

PART II: PEOPLE’S RESISTANCE

The people’s movement against nuclear energy in India dates back to the 1980s. The movement was especially strong in Kerala, where people succeeded in forcing the cancellation of plans to set up nuclear plants at Kothamangalam and Peringome. Tens of thousands of people came out onto the streets to protest government plans to set up nuclear plants at Kakrapar (in Gujarat) and Kaiga (in Karnataka). There were also protests against the decision to site a nuclear plant at Narora in the thickly populated state of Uttar Pradesh.

In continuation of this glorious history, people are rising up in revolt at each and every place where the government is proposing to set up a new uranium mining project or a nuclear power plant. Protests have stalled the uranium mining project in Nalgonda district in Andhra Pradesh for the last five years, while a powerful movement led by the Khasi Students Union, together with various tribal organisations, has held up the mining project in the state of Meghalaya for over one and a half decades now. Likewise, people everywhere are strongly protesting proposals to set up nuclear plants, be it in Haripur (West Bengal), Gorakhpur (Haryana), Mithivirdi (Gujarat) or Jaitapur (Maharashtra).

Kudankulam

The people of Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari and Tuticorin districts have fought long and hard against the two Russian VVER-1000 reactors being built in Kudankulam village in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. Plans to build the reactors were first announced during the visit of Prime Minister Morarji Desai to Moscow in 1979; a formal agreement for the project was signed during President Gorbachev’s visit to New Delhi in 1988. People’s opposition to these plans intensified in the late 1980s, with more than 10,000 people participating in a rally in Kanyakumari called by the National Fishworkers Union to focus national attention on environmental issues, including the Kaiga and Kudankulam atomic power plants. Soon after, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 stalled the project.

This fortuitous reprieve lasted only a few years. In 1997, the Indian Prime Minister, Deve Gowda, and the Russian President, Boris Yeltsin, signed an agreement to revive the Kudankulam project. The people, too, revived their struggle. The struggle has further intensified after the government signed another agreement with Russia to build four additional reactors there. Various people’s organisations have come together and formed an umbrella organisation, the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), to fight the nuclear plant. They have held meetings in practically every village in the area and have organised dozens of demonstrations, cycle yatras and seminars against the project.

Haripur

More than 20,000 people, organised under the banner of ‘Haripur Paramanu Bidyut Prakalpa Pratirodh Andolan’, prevented a team of experts from the NPCIL from visiting the area on November 17, 2006, even though they were accompanied by battalions of armed police. Thousands of men, women and children from villages around the proposed site blockaded all entry points and vowed to embrace instant death rather than allowing their coming generations to suffer from the nuclear menace. The attempt was repeated on the next day; but again the experts and police were forced to go back.

The stakes for building nuclear plants are very high, and it makes for strange bedfellows. While the CPI(M) was strongly against the Indo-US Nuclear Deal, which was crucial for the construction of the Haripur plant to go ahead, and has also been protesting the Jaitapur nuclear plant probably because it is in the opposition in the state of Maharashtra, the West Bengal Chief Minister has repeatedly expressed his support for building the Haripur plant, and the local goons of CPI(M) have tried to portray the opposition as either Maoists or as being anti-development environmentalists. Yet, repression has not broken the resolve of the people, and they have not allowed a single Introduction 78 Nuclear Energy: Technology from Hell official of India’s atomic energy establishment to visit the area for the last 5 years.

Mithivirdi

A powerful movement of the people of Mithivirdi, Jaspara and nearly 40 surrounding villages in district Bhavnagar of Gujarat has being going on for the last three years against government plans to construct a 6000-8000 MW nuclear power plant there. 7000 people attended a public meeting against the project on April 25, 2010. In June 2010, NPCIL officials together with truck loads of police tried to visit the area to take soil samples for testing, but thousands of people surrounded them and firmly told them to go back. After trying to use force, the officials and police finally retreated.

Gorakhpur

NPCIL is proposing to set up four indigenous reactors in Gorakhpur village, in Fatehabad district of Haryana. Despite efforts by NPCIL scientists to convince the local people about the benefits of nuclear power, the villagers of Gorakhpur and nearby villages have launched a militant protest against the project. They have been sitting on a dharna outside the office of the District Collector since October 2010. The biting cold wave led to one farmer being martyred and many farmers being hospitalised. However, this has not broken the resolve of the people. Support groups for the struggle have been formed in a number of nearby cities, including Chandigarh.

Jaitapur

Amongst the most heroic of these struggles has been the militant struggle of the people of Madban, Nate and other nearby villages against the Jaitapur nuclear plant in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. The government has forcibly acquired land from 2275 families, after more than 95 per cent of them refused to accept the hiked compensation offered by the government of Rs.10 lakh per acre and the promise of a job. The few people who have accepted the cheques are mostly absentee landlords. The issue for the people is not displacement, which is why not just the affected people, but peoplefrom dozens of nearby villages too, are waging a fantastic struggle despite intense police repression. Farmers, mango growers, rickshaw drivers, transporters, fisherfolk, shopkeepers, everyone has joined the movement. They are refusing to believe assurances given by the top official scientists of the country, media intellectuals and politicians of various parties, that nuclear energy is safe, clean and green. They firmly believe that the plant will destroy not just their livelihoods, but will also affect the very sustainability of life in the entire Konkan region for centuries. When the government issued a directive to school teachers to brainwash students into believing that nuclear energy is green, the children boycotted the schools for a few days!

The government has unleashed savage repression on the people. It has promulgated prohibitory orders disallowing people from holding meetings and demonstrations under Section 144 of the CrPC and Section 37 of the Bombay Police Act. It has resorted to lathi-charges, beatings, indiscriminate arrests, registering of false cases against hundreds of men, women and even children, including the atrocious charge of ‘attempt to murder’ on many of them. Thousands of people have courted arrest, and many have spent several nights in jail on trumped up charges. Leading activists of the area have been issued externment notices from Ratnagiri district. Eminent citizens of the region who have extended support to the struggle, including former Supreme Court Judge P.B. Sawant, retired Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Ramdas and noted economist Dr Sulabha Brahme, have been barred from entering the district! The government is using every trick in the book to divide the people and break their will, by trying to split them along communal lines, labelling activists as Maoists and ‘outsiders’ with an ideological agenda, setting up police camps in the area to intimidate the people, issuing threats, and so on.

However, the people are standing firm and have refused to be cowed down! They are united in their resolve that, come what may, they will fight, till the plant is cancelled!!

A Letter from the Women of Koodankulam

From

The Women of Koodankulam

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy

Idinthakarai

Thirunelveli District

Tamil Nadu

Dear Sister,

We hope this letter finds you well. We are sure that you would have liked to hear the same from us. But today, we cannot say that even to fool you or fool this moment in history.Things are not fine with us anymore here in Idinthakarai, Tsunami Rehabilitation Colony, Koodankulam, Koottapuli, Perumanal, Koottapana, Manappad and so on. The situation in Thoothukudy where our friends fasted inside the Church in support became tense after we lost a dear brother. How can we say we feel good?

Today morning, a sister from nearby Tsunami colony was arrested as she got out of her house. We miss the unifying presence of Xavieramma, the quick and efficient Sundari and the slight Selvi who have been taken to a destination that is unknown. Our homes painstakingly built up with hard earned money and effort have been broken down, with utensils and almirahs thrown out and trampled upon. Many of us are not able to go back there and evaluate what has been lost or destroyed. Our friend Inita was hurt badly. So too, many children. The worst part is the fear that now fills the eyes of our small ones. As all this was happening, many of us were paralysed by the cries of the tiny tots whom we had to carry, drag and run in the sand.

We hear that 60 of our friends from Koodankulam are in jail somewhere. It seems improbable that 20 men who were undergoing treatment for injuries in hospitals have not come back home after being discharged, but that is the truth. We have no drinking water supply since 48 hours and electric supply is intermittent. We are on a 48 hour fast too. The friends from Thoothukudy are ready to bring us rice and other provisions, but they have not been able to reach us because of road blocks. Our children have not gone to school. They have not been bathed or fed properly since the 9th evening. We feel uncomfortable and scared to go to our own homes. Have you ever had that feeling?

Now we are sitting and sleeping in the comfort of each other and the security of the Samara pandal which has been our second home for over an year. But for how long?

Many would say we brought it on ourselves and have no right to complain. But what other way did we have? To agree to the commissioning of the Koodankulam Power Plant? After knowing that it will spew 50 trillion Becquerels of radio nuclides every year into the air and discharge 70 tons of water at temperatures varying between 36- 45 degree centigrade? Would you have felt good to be one of the 2000 living less than 900 metres away from the Plant? After seeing the Fukushima disaster and images from Chernobyl, how could we agree to all this just close by? Many say we have been brainwashed and misled. Yes, ignorance is bliss. But not in this case. We are glad to be informed and to know with clarity about what could be in store for us. This alone has empowered us and strengthened our resolve not to allow the commissioning of the Nuclear Plant.

We hear that instead of immediately withdrawing the police force and initiating a decent dialogue with us, many were talking about the foreign funds and the poor illiterate people that we are supposed to be. At this stage at least when we are back to the wall, please do not refer to us so. We have built up this movement with our daily toil. We are proud of this. We are not afraid of hard, honest work as long as the sea and land is there.

We reiterate our earlier request and demands even now:

1.Please intervene and stop all police force in and around the villages. We do not intend to commit any violence. We know that violence begets violence. We value our life and peace.

2. Please stop the commissioning of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant immediately after engaging in a dialogue with us. We know that it is unsafe and the energy so produced is uneconomical and unnecessary.

3. Please engage in a national level talk on other sources of energy that are in surplus in our country.

4. Release all our friends and family arrested and kept in jails / withdraw all false cases against them.

5. Please ensure that we would be able to live in our homes without fear and that basic amenities like water and electricity will not be disrupted.

Do have the boldness and honesty to come here and see for yourself the beauty and simplicity of our lives. This is the time we need you. Please break the barricades and hindrances that have been created and walk in fearlessly to see us here. Please act and intervene as fast as possible. We cannot afford to lose one more life, scare one more child, break one more house anymore….

Do stand by truth, justice and womanhood

September 12, 2012

regards

Usha

The situation in Koodamkulam is really terrible. My friend who translated this letter request all of us to gather support to this struggle

M. DAVID AMALANADANE

(forwarded by Neeraj, Lokayat Pune)

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.