September 13, 2012 2:34:18 am
Koodankulam and its surrounding areas,where agitation against the commissioning of the nuclear power plant had threatened to turn into chaos and violence,slowly limped back to normalcy on Wednesday with the police scaling down their presence and villagers returning to fast in front of St Lourdes Mary Church.
S P Udayakumar,the convener of Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy who has been spearheading the agitation,and M Pushparayan remained underground.
After staging the hunger strike from Monday evening to Wednesday,the struggle committee decided to change strategy and adopt jal satyagraha a novel method which was recently staged at Madhya Pradesh against the raising water level of a dam there.
IACs Arvind Kejriwal,who arrived here on Tuesday night,met Udayakumar at an undisclosed location and held a long discussion during which he asked him not to surrender ,as decided earlier. Kejriwal visited Tsunami Colony and other places where some of the houses were ransacked allegedly by the police on Tuesday while searching for those involved in Mondays clash.
The colony that had 450 houses was practically empty,as the people had fled their homes. There were a few old women,who alleged that hundreds of police personnel,who came in search for those involved in the clash,threatened them and ransacked houses.
Kejriwal went to the Koodankulam police station to meet senior officials but none except lower ranking personnel were present at the time.
Speaking to the media later,Kejriwal accused both the Centre and the state of colluding with each other against the interests of the people. All of us want energy and development,we want our country to develop to eradicate poverty. But this is not the way. You cannot bulldoze people, he said.
He accused the state government of terrorising people using the police force. You cannot stop public protests like this, said Kejriwal.
Meanwhile,Thirunelveli district superintendent of police Vijayendra S Bidari said that the allegations against his men of ransacking the houses were rumours spread by the leaders of the protest. Our force was restrained and did not act in the manner as alleged, he said.
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