October 9, 2012 4:05:23 am
Anti-nuclear protesters Monday began a day-long siege of Kudankulam nuclear plant by placing fibre boats and floating buoys in the sea,marking another phase of their stir.
The protesters,including hundreds of local fishermen,remained 500 metres away from the plant,demanding that it be scrapped.
Over 5,000 security personnel including Rapid Action Force,have been deployed,besides five Coast Guard vessels,ADGP Rajendran said.
Led by Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy,the protesters have also been demanding withdrawal of police from the villages,release of those arrested and taking back false cases filed against anti-nuclear activists.
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PMANE coordinator S P Udayakumar said the struggle would be peaceful and democratic protest and assured of full cooperation to police. He also said they would launch their next agitation in Chennai on October 29 when the assembly session begins. He would also hold discussions with the local community about intensifying the agitation.
This is the second time the protesters are laying siege after September 22,when they did so at Tuticorin port against loading of uranium in the atomic power plant. The protesters had also staged a Jal Satyagraha on the sea at Koothakuzhi,10 km from Kudankulam,by forming a human chain earlier.
The first unit of the Indo-Russian project was scheduled to be commissioned in December last year but had been delayed due to protests by locals on safety concerns.
Meanwhile,fishermen in about 200 mechanised boats and more than 1,000 country boats from Tuticorin did not put out to sea in support of the anti-nuclear protesters.
In Kudankulam,shops remained closed in support of the demand to scrap the plant,officials said,adding,anti-riot police have been deployed in the town.
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