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Activists protesting against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) today tried to reach the plant through sea. Hundreds of protesters, mainly fishermen, used catamarans and small boats for the siege. However, they were unsuccessful
According to sources, around 5,000 police personnel, including Rapid Action Force, have been deployed, besides five Coast Guard vessels in and around KNPP to avoid any disturbance for the plant, which is currently loading fuel.
The official said, the protesters remained 500 metres away from the plant, demanding scrapping of KNPP.
On September 22, the protesters had blocked the entrance of Tuticorin port to block ships coming in and going out.
The protest was called by the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE). The NGO is spearheading the protest at Idinthakarai village, near the Kudankulam nuclear plant, for 410 days now. The villagers, mainly fishermen, were joined by their counterparts from Tuticorin and Kanyakumari districts today.
The protesters were also demanding withdrawal of police from the villages, release of those arrested and taking back false cases filed against anti-nuclear activists.
PMANE coordinator S P Udayakumar said the next step of agitation would be announced over the next couple of days. This includes agitation in Chennai on October 29, when the assembly session begins.
Earlier this week, the protesters had asked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s help to shut down the plant. In a letter to Banerjee, Udayakumar also invited her to visit Idinthakarai.
The protesters hope that Banerjee would sympathise with the cause of the villagers since her government had raised its voice against the Haripur Nuclear Project in East Midnapore district in West Bengal. The project was stalled after Banerjee’s government claimed it would affect the lives of around 30,000 people in the area, Udayakumar said.