Immediate Release- TISS Students’ protest against Montek Singh Ahluwalia


 

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10.05.2012: Morer than 30 students protested with placards and slogans outside the TISS Mumbai Campus. The protest was directed towards Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the chief guest of the 72nd convocation ceremony and represents the Planning Commission as the Deputy Chariman. The estimation of Poverty line, the non-implimentation of the SC/ST special compenent plan and the diversion of the allocated money, like the funds of the SC/ST SCP was diverted to the infrastructure development of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and against his recent comments about the privatisation of higher education just a few ddays ago in Dehli.

A memorandam was also drafted, which was handed over to the director, Prof. S. Parasuraman about the concerns of the students about the comments on the privatisation of education. The memorandam discusses the current situation of Higher education in India and the implications of the proposed privatisation policy.

 

To                                                                                                                              

Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission

Government of India

 

Respected Sir,

We, the students and research scholars of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai wish to express our concern over your recent comments pertaining to higher education in India. These include your comments on stopping the funding for universities and raising tuition fees across the board. You have also argued for an increased role for private sector investment in higher education. However, the reality of education in our country, particularly higher education compels us to strongly disagree with your comments.

Overall the gross enrolment rate in higher education in India is still less than 15 per cent. These figures show significant disparities across class, caste, gender and region. It is also less than the world average of 23 per cent. Secondly, despite the government’s constant pledge to raise public spending in education to at least 6 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), public spending on education still remains at less than 4 per cent of GDP. This is much lower than the share in a number of developing countries. The average share of higher education in the total education expenditure of both Central and State governments has come down from 14 percent during 1981-82 to 1991-92 to 12.7 percent during 1992-93 to 2003-04.

Further, the Planning Commission’s approach paper to the twelfth five year plan makes it clear that there is no scope for a rise in public funding of higher education and the government is looking at the private sector as the engine growth in the higher education sector. The approach paper says: “Resource constraints will make it difficult to meet the need of expanding higher education entirely through the public sector. Not all private educational institutions are of good quality and some are quite inferior. Minimum standards will have to be ensured. But free entry will, in the end, automatically weed out the poor quality institutions. Private initiatives in higher education, including viable and innovative PPP-models, will therefore, be actively promoted. The current “not-for-profit” prescription in the education sector should be re-examined in a pragmatic manner…”

We strongly disagree with this policy position. Unbridled expansion of the private sector will only exacerbate inequalities in higher education across socioeconomic groups and across gender and region; instead, it will be based on the slogan: “only the rich deserve good education”. In our view, in view of the above realities of our higher educational system, only a public funded education system can best ensure equal access to higher education. Hence, all efforts should be made to strengthen public higher education across the country.

As a member of a body like the Planning Commission, whose decisions impact the lives of people in the country, we hope you would give a thought to the concerns raised by us.

 

Yours sincerely,

Saqib Khan, Karan Raut, Ranjini Basu and Rupesh Kumar

Research Scholars and students

Tata Institute of Social Sciences

V.N.Purav Marg, Deonar

Mumbai-400088

2

 

Dr. Srinivasan, Half Truths Can Never Tell the Real Story


FROM- WWW.DIANUKE.ORG

Anuj Wankhede

A concerned, educated Indian who does not take paintings at face value.

In a recent Business Standard article, Mr. M.R. Srinivasan – former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission makes a case for nuclear power in India.

I dare him to a debate.

Half truths cannot ever tell the real story.

The fact of the matter is that, what when you talk of a 1000MW project, all nuclear plants in India operate at average 60% capacity utilization (mostly 40%).

To create that sort of combined wind and solar project, it will not take more than two years. Gujrat did it recently and there is no reason other states cannot. Note that this year itself wind energy contribution in Tamil Nadu is at a historic high.

To state that wind does not always blow and the sun does not always shine is an argument unbecoming of a scientist. Obviously he knows better, because the sun does not shine at night and life goes on because of ‘stored’ energy!

Mr. Srinivasan says it it not impossible to transport coal, it is only difficult. Why are we only looking for easy answers? Is that become our psyche that we can no longer think of alternatives, just because they are difficult?

Transporting coal from Neyveli in Tamil Nadu to U.P. for power generation is not cheap – it is correct only because politics deems it to be. Have you considered the Transmission and Distribution (T&D) losses and ways to plug these criminal wastages? Or are they too difficult.

For every solution given to the Atomic Energy Board, things are either too difficult or politically inconvenient.

The only convenient thing is to put thousands of innocent lives at risk.

There are many other facts that can be discussed, Mr.Scientist.

And even I – as a layman – will counter them.

I dare you to a debate, Sir.

CONTACT- benchmark.anuj@gmail.com

PUBLIC HEARING – Koodankulam and State Suppression of Democratic Rights @May14


A warning to the TN Govt on Koodankulam

A warning to the TN Govt on Koodankulam (Photo credit: Joe Athialy)

PUBLIC HEARING INVITATION

Koodankulam

&

State Suppression of Democratic Rights

Presided by
Justice (Retd) A.P. Shah
former Chief Justice (Madras and Delhi High Courts)
&
Geeta Ramaseshan, Senior Advocate, Madras High Court
Prof. Prabha Kalvimani

Testimonies by
Prashant Bhushan, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court
Sam Rajappa, Senior Journalist, Chennai
&
residents of Idinthakarai, Koodankulam and surrounding areas

VENUE: Lawrence Sundaram Hall, Loyola College,
Sterling Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai

DATE/TIME: 14 May, 2012. (Monday)
9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

FILM SCREENING: 
9.30 a.m.
Radiation Stories: Part III, R.P. Amuthan

PRESS BRIEFING:
 4.30 p.m.

Organised by:
Chennai Solidarity Group for Koodankulam Struggle

For more information, contact: nity682@gmail.com.             9444082401      

LIVESTREAMING OF EVENT: http://www.livestream.com/koodankulamshah?t=227743

Govt says AIIMS refusal to admit Soni Sori will be probed



First Post, May 10, 2012

New Delhi: Government today assured Rajya Sabha that it will inquire into the denial of admission by AIIMS of  Soni Sori despite the Supreme Court directing the hospital to medically examine her.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, T N Seema (CPI-M) said Soni was “brutally tortured” in police custody for last one year in Chhattishgarh, a remark which drew sharp reactions from BJP members who opposed raising a subject related to the state in Parliament.
P J Kurien, who was in the Chair, however, said the matter related to a tribal and is within the ambit of the central government.

Seema said she was not talking about the case but about the failure on the part of the AIIMS authorities to admit her despite the Supreme Court order.

“When the Supreme Court has ordered to admit her, on whose authority AIIMS turned her away on 9 May? Why the government has not ordered a high level inquiry into allegations of custodial violence and sexual exploitation?” Seema asked.

She rued that instead of taking actions against the accused policemen, they were given gallantry awards. “The Union government cannot wash its hands off treating it as state matter,” she said.

As members from the CPI-M sought a response from the government, Tribal Affairs Minister Kishore Chandra Deo assured the House that he will get details of the matter and “will surely inquire why the AIIMS did not admit her”.

Amid allegations that foreign bodies were thrust into her private parts, the Supreme Court had last week directed AIIMS to medically examine  Soni Sori to treat her and ascertain the charges and submit a report to it before 10 July.

Soni-, Sori has been accused by the police of receiving “protection money” from a company. She was arrested on 4 October in South Delhi by Chhattisgarh police.

PTI

AIIMS silent on Soni Sori’s admission after 24-hour delay as police play hide and seek

By Newzfirst Correspondent5/10/12

NEW DELHI – The whereabouts of Soni Sori, a tribal woman allegedly tortured by Chhattisgarh Police last year, were unknown to her lawyer and family until Thursday noon, more than 24 hours after the police were supposed to bring her to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here for treatment under orders from the Supreme Court.

“I have been here at the AIIMS since the morning but I do not know if Sori has been admitted or not,” Supreme Court lawyer Brinda Grover, who is Sori’s counsel, told Newsfirst.

AIIMS was yet to put out a formal statement. Unconfirmed reports from within AIIMS suggested that Sori is inside and that hospital has constituted a board of doctors of gynaecology, endocrinology and cardiology to examine her health, as the Supreme  Court directed on May 2.

The Chhattisgarh Police brought Sori from Raipur, the state capital, on Wednesday by a 7a.m. flight. Even though they landed in Delhi before noon, they brought her to AIIMS only at 5p.m. and were sent back because admissions at the hospital close at 4p.m.

Since then, Grover said, Sori’s whereabouts are unknown.

A 35-year-old schoolteacher is to be treated at AIIMS under orders from the Supreme Court given May 2.

Rights activist Himamshu Kumar slammed the police as well as AIIMS for violating the Supreme Court order, both in letter and spirit.

“How could the hospital deny admitting a patient in emergency and that, too, on the Supreme Court’s orders?” Kumar asked.

Sori accuses Chhattisgarh Police of brutal torturing her, including putting stones in her private parts, to gain a false confession from her that she belongs to an outlawed Maoist group that is waging a long-running insurgency in the central Indian forests.

In October, the police alleged Sori and a nephew of hers extorted money from an industrial group with interests in Chhattisgarh. The nephew, Kodopi Linga, is in jail.

Sori and her nephew claim the police framed them after they refused to play ball with the police. They claim the police wanted the nephew to pose as a Maoist to trap a contractor with the industrial group into paying him extortion money.

Fearing arrest in her home district of Dantewada in Chhattisgarh, Sori fled to New Delhi, only to be arrested by the police here on October 4.

A Delhi court rejected her bail plea on October 7 and she was taken to Dantewada district, to which she belongs, and jailed. Police failed to produce her in a court on October 10 as they had been ordered. They claimed she was injured after falling in the washroom.

But a video of her shot privately at the government hospital where she was brought appeared to suggest she had been badly tortured. A public outcry forced the police to take her to a government hospital in the neighbouring Jagdalpur city.

When doctors there denied she had been tortured, Sori’s lawyer Grover moved the Supreme Court seeking an order for Sori’s independent examination.

The Supreme Court Sori to be sent to Kolkata for the examination. On December 2, a government hospital in Kolkata reported to the Supreme Court that Sori had indeed been brutally tortured. They said they found “foreign elements” inserted in her private parts.

Grover approached the Supreme Court again last month pleading for her to be treated at AIIMS as Sori had fallen very ill at the Raipur Central Jail, where she was returned.

On May 2, the Supreme Court directed AIIMS to form a special medical board, including experts of gynecology, endocrinology and cardiology, to examine Sori.

The court ordered the AIIMS director to submit the report of the board before July 10.

Sori has three preteen children. They are in Dantewada.

Dr Binayak Sen urges ‘intolerant’ Bengal to change policies


(He speaks in Bangla and Bonglish in it. Below is the text from the description of the video.)
4th MAY, 2012, NONADANGA, kolkata
Binayak Sen urges ‘intolerant’ Bengal to change policies

In the wake of the forcible eviction of people from slums in eastern Kolkata, human rights activist Binayak Sen Friday accused the West Bengal government of being “intolerant” and urged it to change its policies to provide people a better living.

“The basis of our democracy is that there should be tolerance for dissent. Where there is no tolerance, there is no democracy. The state should be sympathetic to them but on the contrary it is increasing their sorry plight,” said Sen who visited the Nonadanga area.

“It is a matter of shame in which the people are being treated. They do not have access to drinking water, distribution of food grains through public distribution system, schools and medical facilities,” he said and promised medical facilities to the families living there.

Sen also criticised the government for arresting the slum dwellers who had been protesting against their eviction.

He also rubbished claims by the government of involvement of Maoists in the protests, saying: “Referring to people as Maoists is a shortcut which the state is using against the people.”

Sen had earlier also been critical of the government for displacing the dwellers.

“It (eviction) is a great tragedy and a great crime committed. It is really inhumane on the part of the government to displace the people without providing viable alternative and livelihood options,” Sen had said Sunday.

The evictees announced they would bring out a rally in the city and meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on May 17 demanding shelter and proper rehabilitation for the families living in the slum.

The activist urged the people from all sections of society to come out and support the residents in their struggle.

The area has witnessed trouble since March 30 after nearly 130 families were evicted from the slum because of an ongoing project of the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority.

Punjab social activists jointly urge PM to ensure proper medical treatment to jailed tribal teacher #sonisori



To,
1. Shri Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, New Delhi
2. Shri Raman Singh, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Raipur

We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned by the pathetic condition of Soni Sori in Raipur Central Jail. It has been reported that she has been passing blood with her urine, is having difficulty to sit or get up, and has lost considerable weight. Although the Supreme Court, on a petition moved on her behalf has ordered the Chhattisgarh Govt to bring her to AIIMS New Delhi for treatment. The inhuman character of Chhattisgarh Govt was clearly reflected in its stiff opposition to the petition.

It is unfortunate that despite the doctors from NRS Medical Hospital having confirmed that stones had been inserted into her vagina and rectum, Soni Sori has not received proper medical care. We fear for Soni’s life and are outraged and ashamed at this inhuman treatment of a woman in India.

Soni Sori, 35, is an adivasi school teacher from Dantewada who was arrested in New Delhi on Oct 4 2011. She was tortured physically and sexually but neither the state nor the central government has investigated the abuse. Her case has been repeatedly listed up in the Supreme Court but has been postponed every time. Throughout the duration of Soni Sori’s imprisonment, the state has also tried to stifle her communications with the civil society. In January this year, a team from various women’s groups across the country went to Raipur Jail to meet Soni, but they were prevented from doing so by the administration.

In the meantime another tragedy has befallen upon Soni Sori, as her mother has expired.

The brutal treatment meted out to Soni Sori, and the prevailing situation of conflict and repression in Chhattisgarh, cause us grave concern about Soni in particular, and the situation of women prisoners, in general. We demand immediate access for fact-finding groups to meet with Soni Sori and others to assess their condition in jail, particularly their medical situation. We fear that Soni Sori’s condition is rapidly deteriorating, and demand that she be released unconditionally.

Signed by:
1. Prof. Jagmohan Singh, General Secretary, Association for Democratic Rights, Punjab.
2. Prof. Ak Maleri, Organising Secretary AFDR Punjab
3. Dr. Parminder Singh, Convener, Democratic Front Against Operation Green Hunt, Punjab,
4. Balwant Singh Dhillon, Advocate, President Lawyers for Justice & Democratic Rights, Bathinda
5. Bagga Singh President, Association for Democratic Rights Punjab, Bathinda.
6. Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, General Secretary Bharti Kisan Union (Ugrahan) Punjab
7. Pavel Kussa, President Naujwan Bharat Sabha, Punjab
8. Lachhaman Singh Sevewala, General Secretary Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union.
9. Amolak Singh, General Secretary, Lok Morcha, Punjab
10. Dr. Tejwant Mann, President, Kendari Likhari Sabha
11. Rajneesh Kumar Rana Advocate , Convener Beti Bachao Manch, Bathinda
12. Sadhu Ram Kusla, President All India DRDA Staff Welfare Association, Bathinda
13. Adv. Rajiv Lohahbadi General secretary Democratic Lawyers Association, Punjab
14. Dr. Arun Mitra General Srcretary Indian Doctors for Peace & Development
15. Parminder Jeet, Poet, Amritsar
16. Manmohan Bawa, Writer, Dalhousie
17. Narpinder Singh Rattan, Writer, Chandigarh
18. Dr. Atamjit, Playright
19. Baldev Singh ‘Saraknama’ Punjabi Writer Moga, Sahitya Academy Awardee
20. Renuka Singh Chairman Punjabi Sahit Sabha, Delhi
21. Dr. Karamjeet Singh, Director Punjabi Sahit Sabha, Delhi
22. Gurbachan Singh Bhullar, Punjabi Writer, Delhi
23. Lal Singh Punjabi Story Writer, Dasuya
24. N.K.Jeet, Advocate, Bathinda
25. Sudeep Singh, Advocate, Bathinda
26. Mandeep Singh Kular Advocate, Faridkot
27. Suman Singh Advocate Bathinda
28. Ram Pratap Singh, Advocate Bathinda
29. Jagmel Singh, State Committee Member, Lok Morcha Punjab
30. Amarjeet Singh Bai, Advocate, Amritsar.
31. Dr. Dharamvir Gandhi, Patiala
32. Dr. Ranjit Singh Ghumman
33. Adv. Naval Kishore
34. Prof Ajmer Singh Aulakh, Mansa
35. Dr. Jitendar Singh Punjabi University
36. Dr. Sukhpal Senior Economist Punjab Agriculture University Ludhiana
37. Dr. S. N. Sewak Theatre
38. Col. J.S.Brar (Retd)
39. Prof Jaswant Gill Retd. Principal
40. Sh Jaswant Zirakh Taraksheel Society Punjab, Ludhiana
41. Sukhwinder Editor Pratibadh
42. Lakhwinder Editor Lalkar
43. Attarjit Singh Punjabi Story writer, Bathinda
44. Ajay Pal Naujavan Bharat Sabha
45. Prof. Bawa Singh Head, Deptt. of English
46. Advocate Charanvir Singh Patiala
47. Advocate Sher Singh Patiala
48. Advocate Alankar Arora
49. Advocate Narinder Singh Ludhiana
50. Advocate Kuldip Siongh Ludhiana
51. Dr. Harbans Singh Grewal, District President, Association For Democratic Rights Ludhiana Punjab.
52. Dr. Sandeep Singh Surgeon, Ludhiana
53. Pritpal Democratic Rights Activist, Bathinda
54. Buta Singh Writer & Democratic Rights Activist
55. Prof. Arun Bhagat Head, Deptt. of English DAV College Faridabad
56. Dr. Sarika Kanjlia DAV College Faridabad
57. Prof. Savita Bhagat Head, Deptt.of Economics DAV College Faridabad
58. Dr. Shubhdarshan Head, Deptt. of Hindi DAV College Faridabad
59. Prof Archana Head, Deptt. of Commerce DAV College Faridabad
60. Dr. Vijaywanti Head, Deptt. Of Geography DAV Faridabad
61. Prof. Mamta Khosla
62. Prof. Priyanka
63. Mitter Sain Meet Punjabi Novelist

Centre asks Odisha to furnish report on Vedanta project


 

Bibhuti Pati
Bhubaneswar, MAY 9, 2012

THE CENTRE has asked the Odisha government to furnish the physical verification report on diversion of forestland for the expansion of the Vedanta alumina project and its captive power plant at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district. It was on this ground that the Centre had earlier stopped Vedanta’s 2 May public hearing in Lanjigarh.



On 17 April, the Centre had sent a letter to the Odisha government to ask for documents on diversion of forestland for the expansion of the alumina refinery from 1 mt per annum (mtpa) to six mtpa plant as it involved forestland. However, the state government is yet to submit all the documents.

On 26 April, the Centre sent a reminder to the Odisha government. In this, director, Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF), PL Ahujarai wrote, the plant area in Lanjigarh involves 28.943 hectare (ha) of village forest land. He adds, “The requirement of diversion of forest land under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, is yet to be resolved. The matter regarding access to the villagers has not been satisfactorily addressed.” The Centre has also made it clear that environmental clearance to the project, expansion of the alumina refinery plant and captive power plant from 75 mw to 285 mw would be accorded only after the issue on public hearing was resolved. A detailed report to this effect based on a joint field verification report by the revenue department and forest department was also sent to the chief conservator of forest on 25 October 2011, and it was also forwarded to the ministry of environment and forests. “Hence, there is no pending issue of gramya jungle jogya land,” the Vedanta official said. And for once, Vedanta voiced an opinion about the Odisha government’s role in all this. “Despite investment of nearly Rs 50,000 crore in Odisha, the company has not received any sort of help from the Odisha government,” Vedanta head Mukesh Kumar. “We have to procure raw materials (bauxite) from other states, which will not be viable in the long run,” he said.

Meanwhile, veteran social activists and environmentalist Prafulla Samantara said, “The letter of MOEF to keep abeyance of public hearing on Vedanta’s expansion contains only one objection ie, appropriation of 28 hectare of village forest. But it has ignored other objections with a motive to hide Vedanta’s gross violations of laws.”

The Centre had on 17 April asked for documents on diversion of forestland for the expansion of the alumina refinery

Further, Samantara added, “First, the existing 1 mt capacity for the alumina plant at Lanjigarh is illegal because it has been constructed without forest and mining clearance. Second, construction work for expansion to 6 mt is more than 50 percent complete without any environment and forest clearance. So criminal proceedings should have been taken against the company. The MOEF has directed the state government to take action on violation of forest protection law. But it has not been done.”

Samantara also points out, “In its EIA report, Vedanta has indicated that the nearest source of mining is the Niyamgiri hills. It is a fact that the MOEF had denied mining in Niyamgiri but now the same MOEF accepted mining in Niyamgiri for its expansion when it allowed a public hearing.”

This is why, he says, there should be a firm ban on expansion. As the Odisha government has gone to the Supreme Court against central government’s decision of stopping mining in Niyamgiri, now the same government of India can allow public hearing for expansion on the basis of mining in Niyamgiri. Vedanta got another jolt when its 6 mt capacity production plant expansion proposal congested and the proposed public hearing dated 2 May rejected by MOEF on 17 April. As per the comments of MOEF officials, “There are lots of legal problem and MOEF officials reviewed the whole matter. So it was not possible to give permission for the Vedanta’s 2 May proposed public hearing.”

Former minister, senior Congress leader and Kalahandi Lok Sabha, MP, said “I welcome the MOEF’s timely decision. Vedanta has violated all the forest and environment rules and there us huge violation of human rights. Vedanta almost asked for tough action. How can Vedanta apply in MOEF for expansion when there are so many irregularities?” That the controversies over Niyamgiri mines are still alive was highlighted by the tribal agitation against Vedanta. Recently, hundreds of Dongoria, Jharania and Kutia tribes gheraoed the local police station and went on dharna against Vedanta in Rengopali village.

The tribals alleged police atrocities in connivance with Vedanta officials. This was highlighted by the entire local media. After the massive tribal agitation, Vedanta’s red pond issue, this became a major impediment. The tribals suspect that Vedanta might find a back door as experts are speculating that Vedanta might come up with a joint venture project with L&T to mine Kutru Mali and Silji Mali near Kashipur to feed its Lanjigarh plant, apart from waiting for an opportune time to grab Niyamgiri with the help of both the Odisha government and the MOEF.

That is why the Dongarias and other people will continue fighting for their rights — any kind of complacency will bring doomsday not only for them and their democracy but also for the whole Earth, which holds life in all forms.

fwletters@gmail.com ,  Tehelka

Immediate Release–A day of fasting and prayers- Koodankulam


Internationally recognized symbol. Deutsch: Ge...

Internationally recognized symbol. Deutsch: Gefahrensymbol für Radioaktivität. Image:Radioactive.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)                              May 10, 2012

Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu
Phone:             98656 83735      ; 98421 54073
koodankulam@yahoo.com
pushparayan@gmail.com
Press Release
The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) calls off the planned event at Idinthakarai on May 10, 2012 as the District authorities have clamped down prohibitory orders such as 144 in and around Koodankulam area. The citizens’ right to assemble cannot and must not be construed as a siege and this fundamental right must be respected and honored. We would also like to record the fact that we have not inflicted any violence on anybody in any of our protests or agitations for the past nine months. So the authorities have nothing to fear or worry. In the light of the recent development, however, we have requested the people from all the coastal and interior villages to organize “a day of prayer and fasting” today in their respective churches and temples.
There has been an error in the count of Voter ID Cards that have been submitted by people. Cards are still pouring in from all different villages in Tirunelveli district and other places in Tamil Nadu. We are yet to take the final count of the cards and submit them to the authorities when the tense situation in our area subsides.
Most of the men and women participating in the indefinite hunger strike are very weak and losing weight. Some of them are suffering from heat stroke and dehydration. We take them to the local hospital as the government medical team does not come anymore. Instead of taking the lives of these people seriously, the local Radhapuram Tahsildar is throwing bureaucratic hurdles such as asking us to call the District Collector for continued medical assistance. We have a group of volunteers to help the strikers and a team of local reporters to monitor and report the developments on a continuous basis. The PMANE would like to record here that the central and state governments will be held responsible if anything happens to any of the indefinite hunger strikers.
We have always been ready and willing to talk to the authorities as we believe in democracy and dialogue. In that spirit, we have given our list of demands to them. But the state government officials are interested only to talk about the false cases they have foisted on us and not about other substantive Koodankulam plant-related issues. The state authorities claim that those issues are in the realm of the central government. On the contrary, the issue of organizing disaster management trainings and evacuation exercises, passing resolution to safeguard the local water resources, respecting the people’s right to protest peacefully and nonviolently can all be addressed by the state government.
The central and state governments have not invited us for any talks so far and they are keen to get us arrested and abort the entire struggle. The Indian democracy and the fundamental freedoms of our people are all at stake here. The spirit of India is being systematically stifled by the nuclear Merchants of Venice.
And finally, the PMANE would also like to demand an independent enquiry on the blast that had occurred at the Koodankulam nuclear power plant on May 4, 2012 in which a few men were badly injured.
The Struggle Committee
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)

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