#MadrasHC- issues notice for withdrawal of cases against anti-nuclear activists


Chennai, June 18, 2013

PTI

 The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered issue of notice to Tamil Nadu Government asking why steps were not taken to withdraw cases filed against anti-nuclear activists protesting against Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project.

First Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal and Justice M. Sathyanarayanan, ordered notice to the state government and sought reply within three weeks.

The notice was issued on a petition which sought a direction to the state government to withdraw all criminal cases filed against anti-nuclear activists, who have been protesting against the Indo-Russian project in Tirunelveli District.

The petition referred to the Supreme Court’s direction to the state government to withdraw all criminal cases against the protestors.

 

PRESS RELEASE- Four anti nuke activists booked under Goondas Act, exonerated by Madras HC


Four persons belonging to Idinthakarai and Koodankulam villages, who had been booked under Goondas Act since September 2012, have been exonerated by the Madras High Court (Madurai bench). In all, six men ranging in age from 23 to 68, were charged under Goodas as part of the State Government’s harassment campaign against the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy. All six have served between three and five months in jail on trumped up charges.

 

The Madras High Court’s decision to lift charges under Goondas Act further proves the long-standing allegation that the Tamil Nadu Government has abused the Indian Penal Code to stifle democratic dissent and crush the movement against the nuclear power plant.

 

In all, the Koodankulam Police Station has filed at least 325 cases against more than 200,000 people, including cases involving sedition and waging war against the state against nearly 10,000 people. Since most of the cases are against unnamed persons, it has been convenient for the Police to arrest randomly and then link the arrested persons to any one of the 325 cases.

Yesterday, the Madras High Court’s Madurai bench exonerated the following persons based on an appeal filed against the confirmations of Goondas Act by the NSA and Goondas Board.
Lourdusamy, age 68, Idinthakarai. Arrested 10.9.12. Crime Nos. 349/12, 300/12, 70/12 — Vellore prison (Sedition and Waging War)
Nazraen, age 41, Idinthakarai. Arrested 10.9.12. Crime Nos. 349/12, 300/12, 70/12 — Vellore prison (Sedition and Waging War)
Thavasi Kumar aka Kumar, age 33, Vairavikinaru. Arrested 9.10.12. Crime Nos. 348/12, 350/12, 346/12 — Palayamkottai prison (Sedition and Waging War)
Jesurajan, age 38, Koodankulam. Arrested end October, 2012. Crime Nos. 341/12. 342/12, 345/12, 352/12 — Palayamkottai prison (Sedition and Waging War)

The appeal against the Goondas Board confirmation for Sindhu Bharat is coming up for hearing today. Details of Sindhu Bharat are as follows:
Sindhu Bharat, age 23, Koodankulam. Arrested 9.10.12. Crime Nos. 349/12, 350/12, 70/12 — Palayamkottai prison (Waging war)

The appeal against the Goondas Board confirmation for Santiahu Rayappan (details below) is expected to come up for hearing later this month.
Santiahu Rayappan, age 33, Idinthakarai. Arrested November 2012. Crime Nos. 349/12, 304/12, 397/12.

The rules governing the draconian Goondas Act require that named persons should be produced before the Goondas Board and the Board’s report confirming or rejecting the invocation be submitted to the Government within 7 weeks (50 days) of invocation of the Act. However, it is now more than 7 weeks since the appearance of the named persons before the Board. The Board is yet to submit a report on four out of six persons.

Of the six, four people were represented by Adv. Lajapatarai and his team in Madurai on behalf of the PMANE. Two others arranged their own counsels.

by-nityanand jayaraman

Kamal Haasan- If there is no secural state, I will leave the country #Vishwaroopam #FOE #Censorship


Kamal Haasan

Kamal Haasan

Twelve hours was enough for veteran actor Kamal Haasan to lose all hope (or whatever was left of it) in India’s political structures. Last night, the Madras High Court had lifted the ban by the Tamil Nadu government on Hassan’s film Vishwaroopam. However, in the morning, police halted screening across Chennai.

Frustrated and fed up, Haasan held a press conference in Chennai this morning where he said, “If there is no secular state in India, I would go overseas. I think Tamil Nadu wants me out.”

There was a depressing sense of déjà vu both for the citizens of this country and Kamal Haasan when he recalled M F Husain’s exit from the country after the painter’s freedom of experssion was trampled upon. Certain Hindu groups protested against Husain’s nude paintings of a certain Hindu goddess.

Hassan’s frustration was evident on his face when he said that he had pledged all his property on this film and had nothing more to lose, he would leave the country freely.

The 58-year-old Padma Shri awardee has starred in the largest number of films submitted by India in contest for the Academy Award, for Best Foreign Language Film.

Indian democracy started it’s descent towards intolerance when Prof Ashis Nandy’s comments were stifled under the garb of being divisive a few days ago, and reached the peak today when Haasan’s film is being used as a political tool.

What right does the government of Tamil Nadu have to stall a film when the Censor Board has given it a go ahead? What right do they have to stop the screening when the courts have given it a clean chit? What is the politics behind the fringe Muslim groups that have claimed that the movie is offensive? How long will artists have to suffer in the hands of politicians?

In 1989, the landmark Supreme Court judgment in the S. Rangarajan v/s P. Jagajivan Ram case held “freedom of expression cannot be suppressed on account of threat of demonstrations and processions and threat of violence”. The Tamil Nadu Government was not only being severely intolerant but also unconstitutional in deciding to impose a ban on the film.

Haasan said in the press conference that he thinks in Tamil, writes in Tamil and that his poems are in Tamil. If Kamal Hassan is forced to move out of the state in the quest for his uncompromising freedom of expression, the citizens of Tamil Nadu will face a loss they will never make up for.

 

 

Rajinikanth appeals to Muslims to allow Kamal Haasan to release #Vishwaroopam’ #Foe #censorship


TAMIL, Posted on Jan 25, 2013

New Delhi: What days of negotiations failed to achieve, a simple appeal from cinema’s legendary star Rajinikanth might just pull off. Rajinikanth on Friday backed embattled actor-director Kamal Haasan and appealed to the Muslim fraternity to allow him to release his film Vishwaroopam without majorly affecting the storyline of the film.

In a passionate statement issued to the media Rajini asked Muslims “to sit with Haasan and discuss the issue and allow its release without affecting its storyline”.

“Kamal is no ordinary artiste but an extraordinary one who can take Tamil cinema to new levels,” Rajini said.

Kamal Haasan’s latest film ‘Vishwaroopam’ suffered another blow on Friday when the screening was banned in Hyderabad in ‘communally sensitive areas’ because of the Milad-un-Nabi festival. The move comes after the Tamil Nadu government also banned the film on Thursday.

Police asked distributors to refrain from screening the film in communally sensitive zones only for Friday. Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy directed police to stop the screening till Jan 28 after some Muslim leaders called on her and demanded a ban on it.

Following this, the Hyderabad police commissioner asked cinema distributors not to screen the movie at theatres in the city. Cyberabad police commissioner, covering areas around Hyderabad, also directed theatres not to show the movie

But ‘Vishwaroopam’, facing a two week-ban in Tamil Nadu, was released in more than 80 theatres in Kerala. The multi-lingual film was mainly released in B-class theatres under Kerala Cine Exhibitors Association (KCEA). It was also screened in multiplexes and some theatres run by the Kerala Film Exhibitor’s Federation (KFEF), which had declined to exhibit the movie following Haasan’s decision to premier ‘Vishwaroopam’ on DTH format, industry sources said.

 

Call to address concerns of Kudankulam protesters


SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, The Hindu

A chord with the masses:Film director T.K. Rajeevkumar launching the campaign ‘A rupee for Kudankulam’ on the Shanghumughom beach in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.— Photo: S. Mahinsha

 

The concerns of safety, loss of livelihood, and displacement raised by the villagers of Kudankulam are not the isolated concerns of 18,000 fisherfolk. Every individual should see this struggle as the right of another for existence and support it, film-maker T. K. Rajeevkumar said. The agitation against the Kudankulam nuclear plant has crossed 600 days.

Addressing hundreds of people on the Shanghumugham beach on Sunday evening, Mr. Rajeevkumar said the people of Kudankulam only want to convey to the world that none in high places had ever actually explained to them the benefits or disadvantages of building a nuclear plant in their village. They want to tell the world to understand the depth and implications of the concerns they have raised and see it as a concern of humanity and not marginalise it, Mr. Rajeevkumar said.

He was speaking after inaugurating the ‘A Rupee for Kudankulam’ campaign, organised by a State-level action council expressing solidarity with the Kudankulam movement

He said his reaction to the issue was that of a citizen and that of an individual who was apprehensive about what the proximity to a nuclear plant could mean to his world and the safety of people. The government had the responsibility to reassure the people about the concerns they had raised, he said.

Video installation

Mr. Rajeevkumar said a video installation on Kudankulam, explaining the entire anti-nuclear campaign from a human perspective, was being planned, the shooting for which had already commenced. The video installation would travel across the world so that the anti-nuclear voices from an isolated community would be heard across the world, he added.

S. P. Udayakumar, who is spearheading the anti-nuclear protests at Kudankulam plant, addressed the campaign via video conferencing. He said the people of the village were only seeking basic information about the nuclear plant project. But the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government were only concerned about enriching the Russian economy and scuttling the non-violent and democratic agitation being carried out by the villagers.

“Why is the government hell bent on going ahead with the nuclear plant project in such a hasty manner? The Prime Minister says we are approaching the issue emotionally and that we should come forward for a dialogue. But to initiate a dialogue, we need all information about the project – give us details about the site analysis, safety evaluation and emergency preparation and management reports,” Dr. Udayakumar said.

He pointed out that in other States too, proposed nuclear projects had been dropped following people’s opposition. “There is no need for any haste; let us have a national debate on the issue in the next elections,” he said.

He said the agitation will continue and that the people of Kudankulam were determined to fight for their right to live safely in their land till their last breath.

 

The Koodankulam Struggle: Why We Fight #nuclear


 

By S. P. Udayakumar

18 December, 2012
Countercurrents.org

We have been fighting against the Koodankulam Nuclear power Project (KKNPP) since the late 1980s. This Russian project was shelved right after the Soviet Union’s collapse and taken up again in 1997. The Indian government and Russians have constructed two huge reactors of 1000 MW each without any consent of or consultation with the local people. We have just obtained the outdated Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report after 23 years of long and hard struggle. The Indian nuclear authorities have not shared any basic information about the project with the public. They do not give complete and truthful answers for our questions on the ‘daily routine emissions’ from these reactors, the amount and management of nuclear waste, fresh water needs, impact of the coolant water on our sea and seafood, decommissioning costs and effects, Russian liability and so forth. We are deeply disturbed by all this.

Our people watched the Fukushima accident of March 11, 2011 on TV at their homes and understood the magnitude and repercussions of a nuclear accident. Right after that on July 1, 2011, the KKNPP announced the ‘hot run’ of the first reactor that made so much noise and smoke. Furthermore, the authorities asked the people, in a mock drill notice, to cover their nose and mouth and run for their life in case of an emergency. As a result of all these, our people in Koodankulam and Idinthakarai villages made up their minds and took to the streets on their own on August 11, 2011. Then we all together decided to host a day-long hunger strike on August 16 at Idinthakarai and a three-day fast on August 17-19 at Koodankulam. On the 17th itself authorities invited us for talks and asked us to postpone our struggle to the first week of September because of the upcoming Hindu and Muslim festivals. In a few days’ time, the chief of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) announced that the first reactor would go critical in September 2011.

So we embarked upon an indefinite hunger strike on September 11, 2011 and our women blocked a state road on September 13 for a few hours when the state and central governments continued to ignore us. The state Chief Minister invited us for talks on September 21 and passed a cabinet resolution the next day asking the central government to halt all the work until the fears and concerns of the local people were allayed. We ended our hunger strike on the 22nd but went on another round of indefinite hunger strike from October 9 to 16 when the talks with the Indian Prime Minister failed. We laid siege in front of the KKNPP on October 13-16, 2011 when the KKNPP authorities did not halt work at the site as per the Tamil Nadu state cabinet resolution. We ended both the indefinite hunger strike and the siege on October 16 in order for our people to participate in the local body elections on the 17th. From October 18, 2011, we have been on a relay hunger strike continuously (480th day today). We have been carrying out massive rallies, village campaigns, public meetings, seminars, conferences, and other demonstrations such as shaving our heads, cooking on the street, burning the models of the nuclear plants etc. This struggle has been going on since September 2011 and the morale of the people is still very high.

There is no foreign country or agency or money involved in this classic people’s struggle to defend our right to life and livelihood. Our fishermen, farmers, workers and women make small voluntary donations in cash and kind to sustain our simple Gandhian struggle. Our needs are very few and expenses much less. We only provide safe drinking water to the hunger strikers and visitors. People from all over Tamil Nadu (and sometimes from other parts of India) come on their own arranging their own transportation. For our own occasional travel, we hire local taxis.

Instead of understanding the people’s genuine feelings and fulfilling our demands, the central and state governments have foisted serious cases of ‘sedition’ and ‘waging war on the Indian state’ on the leaders of our movement. There are as many as 350 cases on us. There have been police harassment, intelligence officers’ stalking, concocted news reports in the pro-government media, abuse of our family members, hate mail, death threats, police-supported vandalism on our properties and even physical attack.

Although India is a democracy, our central government has been keen on safeguarding the interests of the MNCs and pleasing some powerful countries such as the United States, Russia, France etc. The welfare of the ‘ordinary citizens’ of India does not figure on their list of priorities. The central government and the ruling Congress party stand by the secretive nuclear agreements they have made with all different countries and consider us as stumbling blocks on their road to disastrous development. The main opposition party, Bharatiya Janata Party (Hindu nationalist party) is interested in the nuclear weapons program and making India a superpower and hence loves everything nuclear. It is ironic that these two corrupt and communal forces join hands with each other against their own people. They bend backwards to please their American and other bosses but question our integrity and nationalist credentials.

Our leaders and the group of 15 women were physically attacked on January 31, 2012 at Tirunelveli by the Congress thugs and Hindutva Fascists when we had gone for talks with the central government expert team. Then the Tamil Nadu government set up a four-member expert panel with a sitting member of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to probe the Koodankulam issue. Having received their secret report, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Ms. J. Jayalalitha, invited us for a brief meeting on February 29, 2012. As soon as the polling at the Sankarankovil state assembly bye-election (in Tirunelveli district) was over on March 18, 2012, the Tamil Nadu government changed its wishy-washy stand on KKNPP and began to support it overtly. It also came down so heavily on us by arresting hundreds of our people and restraining thousands of us in our own respective villages.

Several rounds of indefinite hunger strikes and various campaigns made little impact on the indifferent and anti-people governments in New Delhi and Chennai. When the DAE tried to load the fuel rods in the KKNPP-1 reactor, we had to react and we laid siege to the KKNPP at the back of it by the sea on September 9, 2012. The Tamil Nadu police broke up the unarmed, nonviolent and peaceful protesters with lathi charge, tear gas and gun fire. They killed one Mr. Anthony John at Manappad coastal village on that day. Our people still continued their valiant fight through hunger strike and nonviolent jal satyagraha. Another comrade of ours, Mr. Sahayam Francis of Idinthakarai village, was killed by the low-flying Coast Guard plane. On October 8, 2012 tens of thousands of fishermen from Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari and Thoothukudi districts laid siege to the KKNPP on the sea with their mechanized and fiber boats. With the help of our supporting political parties, we laid siege to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly building on October 29th.

Now the Tamil Nadu government cuts electricity supply so often and so indiscriminately in order to drive home the message that nuclear power plant is badly needed for steady power supply. The central government refuses to support the Tamil Nadu government with the various power augmentation projects and schemes. They together conspire to create anger and opposition among the public against our anti-nuclear struggle. But this devious strategy has backfired on them badly. Most people in Tamil Nadu are able to see through their treacherous scheme. And we have been receiving a lot of support and solidarity from various groups in Kerala and even from other states of India.

To put it all in a nutshell, this is a classic David-Goliath fight between the ‘ordinary citizens’ of India and the powerful Indian government supported by the rich Indian capitalists, MNCs, imperial powers and the global nuclear mafia. They promise FDI, nuclear power, development, atom bombs, security and superpower status. We demand risk-free electricity, disease-free life, unpolluted natural resources, sustainable development and harmless future. They say the Russian nuclear power plants are safe and can withstand earthquakes and tsunamis. But we worry about their side-effects and after-effects. They speak for their scientist friends and business partners and have their eyes on commissions and kickbacks. But we fight for our children and grandchildren, our progeny, our animals and birds, our land, water, sea, air and the skies.

Please keep us on your prayers/meditations/thoughts/conversations and keep an eye on the developments here in the southernmost tip of India. You can write to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms. J. Jayalalitha asking her to stop this deadly nuclear project. You could also write to our Prime Minister, Mr. Manmohan Singh, not to drag India in the opposite direction when the whole world is going the ‘beyond thermal and nuclear’ route. Let us all resolve together to create a Nuclear-Free World for our children and the successive generations.|

S P Udayakumar, Coordinator, People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, spearheading the movement in Koodankulam

 

 

 

Supreme Court bench reserves order on Kudankulam nuclear plant


Date: 6 December 2012
Subject: DNA – Supreme Court bench reserves order on Kudankulam nuclear plant

The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its order on a plea seeking a stay on commissioning of the Kudankulam nuclear plant till all safety measures are put in place.

Following a marathon arguments spanning the last three months, a bench of justices KS Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra reserved its order on the plea that questioned the safety and security of people, the environmental impact and other issues linked to the controversial plant.

The court was hearing a bunch of petition filed by anti-nuclear activists challenging the project on the ground that safety measures recommended for the plant by an expert body has not been put in place. They also raised various questions pertaining to the disposal of nuclear waste and the plant’s impact on environment.

The Centre, Tamil Nadu government and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd, which operates the plant, had refuted all the allegations on safety and security aspects. They submitted that the plant is completely safe and can withstand any kind of natural disaster and external terrorist attack.

The bench on the first date of hearing on September 13 had refused to stay the loading of fuel for the plant but had agreed to examine the risk associated with the project, saying the safety of people in its vicinity is its key concern.

“Public safety is of prime importance. There are poor people living in the vicinity of the plant and they should know their lives would be protected,” the apex court had said.

Maintaining that the plant is completely safe, the Centre had said all the recommendations made by the expert group cannot be put in place in one go and would be implemented in due course within six months to two years.

“The design includes provisions for withstanding external events like earthquake, tsunami/strom, tidal waves, cyclones, shock waves, aircraft impact on main buildings and fire,” NPCIL had said in its affidavit.

“As regards to the vulnerability of the KKNPP to the terrorists attacks, sabotage, etc, it has elaborate physical security arrangements in place to ensure its security. The structural design of the facilities at KKNPP ensures that in the event of a physical attack, the structure would prevent the release of any radioactivity into the public domain,” it had said.

ARTICLE URLhttp://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_supreme-court-bench-reserves-order-on-kudankulam-nuclear-plant_1774211

 

Koodankulam: Latest Ground Report


 

dianuke.org

Jyothi Krishnan visited Koodankulam along with Aruna Roy on 24th July 2012, to express solidarity with the local protestors. We are thankful to her for sharing her experiences and pictures here.

Jyothi Krishnan

The government’s repeated statements of commissioning the first two nuclear reactors at Koodankulam has not deterred local the protestors in any way. Local people have been on continuous struggle for a year now, which includes the ongoing relay fast as well as the intense, indefinite fast in the month of March 2012 in which thousands participated. Our visit to Koodankulam and Idinthikkarai on 24th July 2012, our meeting with people from both these villages and the large number of people who had assembled at the protest site at Idinthikkarai, was clear proof of the people’s determination to put an end to the government’s nuclear plans on their land.

Together in Struggle: Aruna Roy and Dr. S P Udayakumar

When we reached Koodankulam, members of the Struggle Committee, Ganeshan and Rajalingam met us at the main gate of the KKNP plant. We walked through the Koodankulam village which is just 1.5 kilometres away from the plant, where about 20,000 people live. A quiet, coastal village, mostly inhabited by the Nadar community who are engaged with trade of various kinds. Amongst the people we met, four were elected representatives of the Koodankulam grama panchayat (three of whom were women members). The women and men we met as we walked through the Koodankulam village, groups of women sitting together and rolling beedis, shop keepers, passers-by, all of them had one consistent story to narrate- the story of how the police harassed them for protesting against the nuclear plant. All the people we met, including the panchayat members, had been charged with police cases for being a part of the protest against the nuclear plant. The situation is no different in the Idinthikkarai village. The women and children in Idinthikkarai were as vociferous as their sisters in Koodankulam. We spoke with Udayakumar, Pushparayan and other struggle leaders. Udayakumar and Pushparayan have been on self-imposed exile at Idinthikkarai for almost five months now. If they move out of Idinthikkarai, they may be arrested by the police. They have been confined to the Parish Priest’s Bungalow where they have been staying these past few months and the front porch of the St Lourdes Church where the relay fast is staged. In anticipation of the police arresting these two leaders, women and children sleep in large numbers around the Parish Priest’s Bungalow. The youth of the village, whom we met that day, also sleep on the village outskirts. In short, people are on the alert day and night. People from the neighbouring village of Koodankulam also take the responsibility of providing security to these two leaders.

It is an irony that while India plans to increase nuclear power generation from the existing – to by 2032, basic living conditions are still a dream for a majority of the poor in India, both rural and urban. While the country has pumped in crores of money into the KKNP, a small stream let that flows through the Koodankulam village has degraded into an open sewage channel with stagnant water. It would undoubtedly be the source of many communicable diseases in the area, particularly amongst the children. Such instances of sheer neglect makes us disbelieve the claim that energy security will improve the living conditions of the poorest in our country. The Tamil Nadu government offered a 500 crore development package in March 2012, soon after it withdrew its support for the local struggle. It was evident that the underlying motive behind providing this development package was to detract the local people from protesting against the plant. It is sad that the government was prompted to assure the people of houses and roads only when they expressed their strong dissent against the plant. More so that the government believes that it can negate people’s dissent in such a manner. One of the main components of this development package is the provision of cold storages that will enable the fisherfolk of the surrounding villages to store their fish catch. If the plant is to function, the daily release of water used to cool the plant is bound to affect the fish catch. The fish will also be exposed to routine doses of radiation. That of course does not appear to be a concern of the government.

Dr. S P Udayakumar interpreting Aruna Roy’s speech in Tamil

As most of us know, the protest against KKNP heightened following the Fukushima disaster in March 2011. Since August 2011, people from the neighbouring villages have been on continuous protest, a strong, non-violent protest. The government and the KKNP have on their part shown no inclination to engage in a dialogue with the people. The only response from the side of the government has been to charge the peaceful protestors with police cases, which includes non-bailable charges of sedition. There are people who have been charged with as many as 200 cases. Aadilingam, a visually challenged sixty-year old man from Koodankulam village had been charged with 200 cases. Selvamani, Ward Member of Koodankulam panchayat says she has no clue about the number of cases that she had been charged with. Swayambhu Nadar, a resident of Koodankulam village, an old man with severe diabetics and hypertension, barely able to walk, was imprisoned for 15 days. During this period, he had to be hospitalized. Each one had a similar story to share. Residents of the neighbouring villages of Vyravikenaru, Kurunjikulam, Vijayapathi, Aavadiyalpuram, Kamaneri, Kadutala, Tillainagar, Arasarkulam, Puthenkulam and Puthenpuli, all of which are located within a 30 km radius of the plant fear the consequences of a nuclear plant located in such close proximity. A total of 1.2 million people live within a 30 km radius of the plant.

No matter what the safety claims of the KKNP be, the fears and apprehensions of such a large population of people cannot be wished away. The KKNP has taken care to locate the staff quarters 10 kilometres away from the reactors. The Koodankulam village is just a kilometre away, and even closer is the tsunami rehabilitation colony that was built after the tsunami affected the area in 2004. In the fishing village of Idinthikkarai, the thatched sheds in which the fisher folk keep their nets face the two large domes of the reactors. If the plant functions, water released from the nuclear plant will wash the shores of Idinthikkarai in no time. Does this fall within the safety definition of the government and KKNP? People were angry about the mock safety drill that the KKNP conducted last month, which was a mandatory requirement. Instead of conducting it in the villages of Koodankulam or Idinthikkarai, they conducted it at a location 10 kilometres away. While the authorities did not intimate the local people, they brought people from outside for this exercise. When the local people questioned them, they said that they were conducting a survey of the incidence of dengue fever in the area. It is a shame that our institutions make a mockery of all regulations and assume that people will believe their claims. It was evident that people have lost all trust in the government, disillusioned and dismayed at the manner in which their legitimate dissent has been negated. And each step taken by the government aggravates this distrust. What kind of governance is this? On the one hand we talk of local self governance and panchayati raj. On the other hand, the government negates any form of self governance.

While the intensity of the struggle heightened during the past one year, discontent and dissatisfaction has been brewing ever since the KKNP acquired agricultural land for the project. Land on which they grew various varieties of pulses, beans, cotton and tamarind, was taken up by the KKNP. Some of them fought court cases, but the land was acquired. They were paid a meagre amount as compensation, ranging from Rs 200-1200 per acre of land that was acquired. They were promised jobs and development, but none of this was fulfilled. Deprived of agriculture, today a large number of women in Koodankulam earn a living by rolling beedis, getting Rs 100 for every 1000 beedis that they roll. They earn Rs 1000-1500 a month.
All the villagers- the women who roll beedis, the fisher folk, small traders like Perumal who owns a shop selling electrical equipments, the grocer, the vegetable-seller, contribute 10% of their weekly earnings to the movement, in order to meet the campaign expenses. Most villagers have joined in, except for a few contractors. While a few rich households do not openly participate in the protest, they contribute money. It is these regular contributions and of course, the conviction of the people, that have kept the movement going. People have continued to work while the normal pace of their lives has been thrown apart by police arrests and intimidations. And despite this, the Prime Minister alleges that the movement has been instigated by foreign funds.

Aruna Roy Talking to women in Idinthakarai village

Women were present in large numbers at the protest site. We were moved by the conviction with which they spoke. Said an elderly woman, “We have lived more than half our lives. We may not be around for long. But what about our children and theirs?. How can they live in such unsafe conditions?’. It was when the Fukushima disaster took place that they were convinced about the potential danger that lurks less than a kilometre away. ‘Those two domes began to frighten us’, says Poomani. ‘For a year now, coming to the samara pandal has become a daily ritual. We are forgetting how we used to lead normal lives’, said another. It is a common sight to see children sleep in the samara pandal, while their mothers attend meetings. Their exemplary behaviour in the samara pandal, as though the children had completely understood what was required of them in these difficult times. Young men and women were also present. One young man broke out into tears as he spoke with sorrow and anguish, saying that all they thought of during the past one year, was of police arrests. They were living in fear of their leaders getting arrested. There are innumerable cases where passports of local people, (including young persons absent from the struggle and protests, but inhabitants of the area) have been impounded and where fresh applications for passports have been turned down. The youth feel that they have nothing to look forward to if this plant is commissioned.

Truly, this is one of the most remarkable struggles that India has seen. If the government is serious about governance, then they should be courageous enough to place all information, facts and figures about the Koodankulam nuclear plant before the local people. Let there be an open debate on the issue. Let it not think that it can silence people’s demands for justice. What the people fear most, is the fatal consequences of exposure to radiation. Can the government assure them of a safe future?

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Press Release- PMANE’S RESPONSE TO NPCIL’S SER – Koondankulam


People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)                   May 24, 2012

Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104

Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu

Phone:             98656 83735      ;             98421 54073

koodankulam@yahoo.com

pushparayan@gmail.com

 

 

Press Release

[1] As per the Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2012/000544/18674 dated 30.4.2012, the Central Information Commissioner ordered “to provide an attested photocopy of the Safety Analysis Report and Site Evaluation Report after severing any proprietary details of designs provided by the suppliers to the appellant before 25 May, 2012.” The CIC has stated categorically that “if the said reports have details of designs of the plant which are specially provided by the suppliers,” “the PIO can severe such design details which have been provided by the supplier as per the provisions of Section 10 of the [RTI] Act.”

 

[2] The NPCIL in its reply to the CIC argues that the Safety Analysis Report (SAR) “is a ‘third party document’ and therefore, without the prior consent of the third party, the same cannot be shared with anyone.” Although they are holding the SAR in a ‘Fiduciary Capacity,’ the NPCIL has said it is “ready and willing to show the copy” of SAR to the CIC. But they cannot share it with the people of India. Obviously, the NPCIL is more interested in the safety of the Russian company and the Russian benefactors but not in the safety of the people of India.

 

[3] The Central Public Information Officer, Shri S. K. Shrivastava, has sent “the copy of Site Evaluation Report for KKNPP 1 & 2” with the cover letter No. NPCIL/VSB/CPIO/620/KKNPP/2012/769 dated May 17, 2012.

 

Physical Shape of the so called SER:

The so-called Site Evaluation Report (SER) consists of twelve (12) pages of hardly-legible typed-material with no cover page, no authorship, no ownership, no publisher, no date, no index, and no head or tail. If the print quality of the so called SER is anything to go by to assess the standard of the overall Koodankulam nuclear power project, we have so much to worry about our and our country’s future. You can hardly read a word and rarely decipher a number. Maybe that is the way NPCIL prepares its important public safety reports so that no one can and will read, understand, discuss, debate and ask more questions.

 

Moreover, the so called SER mentions the Soviet Union in several places and it proves that the report is also quite old and outdated. Common sense tells us that this is certainly not the original or complete ‘Site Evaluation Report’ for KKNPP 1 and 2. And if it really is, then Indian citizens have something serious to worry about. In all probability, what we have received is some loose old notes of the NPCIL hurriedly put together to meet the CIC deadline and to mislead the public. It is very strange that the SER of India’s first largest mega nuclear complex that may allegedly house six to eight large imported reactors is 12 loose A-4 sheets. It is unbelievable that an ambitious India-Russia joint project built with a whopping outlay of Rs. 14,000 crore has such a lackadaisical site evaluation study.

 

In the so called SER that has been sent to us, pages 1, 2, 3 and 13 have been expunged without any explanation. It is unlikely that this report may have “details of designs of the plant.” It gives rise to a suspicion that the NPCIL still hiding some crucial public safety-related information from the Indian public. On Page 4, the last paragraph mentions “the site selection committee” and “[t]he present committee” without mentioning the number of members or their names. It is unclear why the NPCIL is trying to hide this vital and relevant information.

 

Startling Revelations in the so called SER:

 

[i] Pechipari Water Will be Taken

The so called SER records on Pages 6-7: “In order to enhance additional reliability for water supply, which is essential for functioning of various safety systems of the reactor, intake well at Pechiparai Dam should be provided at lower elevation than the minimum draw-down level of the reservoir. However, it should be ensured by proper management of water distribution that the water level is maintained above this minimum level.” On Page 11, the SER discusses “Fresh water for make-up and domestic use” and establishes that it is “Assured by State Government. One pipe line from Pechiparai dam (at 65 km) to be laid.” Indeed two pipe lines have already been laid from the tail end of the Kuzhithurai Tamirabharani river along the Kanyakumari district coast and from a location some 5 kms away from the Pechiparai dam through Nagercoil town. The NPCIL authorities simply parrot the unserious assertion that they would not take water from the Pechiparai dam, and the Government of Tamil Nadu ignores our long-standing demand of passing an Assembly resolution against taking the Pechiparai water. As a matter of fact, the Tamil Nadu government has recently allotted nearly some Rs. 5 crore to desilt the dam and maintain it.

 

 

 

[ii] No Evacuation Routes Planned or Prescribed

The so called SER claims on Page 8: “At least two evacuation routes from plant site during an emergency should be provided.” It established on Page 16: “3 routes exist for possible evacuation. Schools and other public buildings exist for adequate temporary shelter, Nagercoil (30km), Tirunelveli (100km), and Tuticorin (100km) can provide communication, medical facilities and administrative support.” But there is no discussion about the escape routes, the condition of these roads, the status of the relief shelters and so forth.

 

[iii] Possible Future Expansion

Under Topography, the so called SER asserts: “Sufficient land available for future expansion.” But the NPCIL officials keep saying that they will not take more land for the KKNPP.

 

[iv] Incomplete and Incoherent Info on Hydrology, Geology, Oceanography and Seismology Aspects

All these important issues are very briefly mentioned in a Table with cursory information and without any in-depth analysis.

·         Tsunami is explained away by saying “Not significant as per preliminary report of CRPPS.”

·         As far as seismotectonic environment is concerned, the report asserts simply that “No active fault within 5 km. Site is seismic zone II as per IS-1893; 1984.”

·         The report says on Page 14: “A lime stone quary of about 70 acres falls within the sterilized zone. The lease for this area expires in 1994. Termination of the lease beyond the period has been requested.” In fact, this quarry has functioned until very recently.

Important and relevant issues such as Karst in the area, the slumps in the sea and the recent mega earthquake in the Indian Ocean have not been mentioned or discussed.

 

[v] Radioactive Waste Details

Solid Waste

The so called SER says:

·         “160-180 m cu per year of cemented waste including spent absorption materials, 40 m cu/yr of compacted waste and 5 m cu/yr of cemented ash will be generated from one reactor.”

·         “Low level solid waste to be buried within exclusion zone in leak-proof RCC Vaults/trenches/tile holes.”

·         Spent Fuel: “Each unit layout can store spent fuel of 5 reactor years in the spent fuel pool located inside the containment.”

 

Liquid Waste Dumped into the Sea

According to the SER, the liquid waste is “[t]o be diluted to 2x10E-7 micro Ci/l when discharged into the sea.” So it is clearly established that the radioactivity in the liquid waste of 6000 mCu/year from two units will be removed in the Ion exchange resin and as evaporator concentrate. It will be further diluted by condenser cooling water to meet the AERB limits and discharged into the sea.

 

Gas Release

The daily releases of gaseous discharge from KKNPP 1 and 2 will contain noble gases, I-131, long-life nuclides and short-life nuclides.

 

Thermal Pollution

According to the SER, “Depth of sea water and large dilution due to sea will avoid thermal pollution.”

 

[vi] Population

The so called SER asserts wrongly that there are no center of more than 10,000 people within 10 km radius zone and no center of more than 100,000 people within 30 km radius zone.

 

There is hardly any mention of desalinations plants, the transportation of the nuclear waste and other crucial issues. To sum up, this SER reads like a practical joke being played upon the innocent people of southern Tamil Nadu and southern Kerala. The PMANE rejects this so called SER and demands the NPCIL to share the real, complete and updated Site Evaluation Report with the people of India along with the Safety Analysis Report as per the orders of the CIC.

 

The Struggle Committee

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)

Anti Nuke Protesters start a Postcard Campaign Against False Cases in Koondakulam


Idinthakarai Update

May 24, 2012
PMANE Does a Postcard Campaign Against False Cases
The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) is carrying out a postcard campaign against the false cases that the Koodankulam police keep filing against our leaders and the people. These post cards will be mailed to the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court and the Chief Justice of India in the Supreme Court.
Three particular police officers are behind this false case spree. These public officials use the caste and religion cards deliberately and maliciously to drive a wedge between the two major communities of our area and to incite discord and violence among the people. In fact, the Tamil Nadu government is said to have posted these officers in their present positions with this very purpose.
Mr. Stanley Jones, the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) at Valliyur, and Mr. P. Rajapaul, the Inspector of Police at the Koodankulam police station (both Christian Nadars) are dead set on their mission. Many Koodankulam residents have reported that these two men often invoke the Nadar card when they talk to them and to spread hatred against other communities in the area.
Mr. M. Xavier Francis Beschi, a DSP rank officer belonging to Idinthakarai, has been on a special duty to divide the Idinthakarai village, create chaos and confusion among the residents, instigate violence in the community and undermine the anti-Koodankulam struggle. Understandably, he enjoys the support and blessings of many police officers in the area such as Mr. Stanley Jones and Mr. Rajapaul, acts as the handmaiden of higher officials, and meddles with the normal and peaceful life of our people.
These three officers harbor so much anger and hatred towards the PMANE leaders and our people because of their caste and religious prejudices. They are also overzealous in their respective tasks as they may receive possible promotions and other pecuniary benefits such as increments in their department. So they grab on every opportunity to file false cases against us. For instance, these three officers made the husband of the Vijayapathi panchayat president and his brother, habitual offenders, on April 14, 2012 and filed an attempt to murder case on many of us. On May 11, 2012, Mr. Stanley Jones and Mr. Rajapaul beat up Mr. Rajalingam, a Struggle Committee member and school correspondent, at the East Bazaar of Koodankulam.
On May 19, 2012, an inebriated man from Idinthakarai, Joseph Lawrence, broke the windshield of a public bus at around 4:30 PM near the Casa Nagar of Idinthakarai. And our people caught hold of him and handed him over to the bus conductor and driver to be taken to the Koodankulam police station. This incident was correctly reported in Dinamani and Daily Thanthi newspapers. But the Koodankulam police let him go scot free and framed a false case saying that a mob vandalized the bus instigated by the PMANE Coordinator, S. P. Udayakumar. The PAMNE takes a special pride in leading this nonviolent struggle against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant. We are known around the world as the struggle that has resuscitated nonviolence in popular movements. In fact, Shiv Viswanathan, a distinguished sociologist from India, has said recently: “Kudankulam is the Dandi march against nuclear energy. We cannot hypothecate our future to the illiteracy and indifference of the ATOM STAAT.”
In order to expose these three men and their malicious campaign against our people’s struggle, we are undertaking the current postcard campaign. Since we do not think that we will get justice from the Government of India and the Government of Tamil Nadu, we send all the cards to the Chief Justice of Madras High Court, and the Chief Justice of India of the Supreme Court.
On May 17, 2012, the third anniversary day of the genocide at Mullivaikal in Tamil Eelam, the PMANE organized a day-long conference of youth on “The Futures of the Tamils.” Dr. Sandeep Pandey, a Magsaysay Awardee from Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Ponneelan, Tamil writer and Sahitya Academy awardee, S. P. Udayakumar, M. P. Jesuraj and M. Pushparayan spoke at the conference.
On May 18, 2012, a Communist Party of India (Marxist) team came to visit us at Idinthakarai under the leadership of Comrade P. Mahalingam (aka V.P. Nagai Maali), an MLA from Kilvelur constituency in Tamil Nadu. That evening the CPI(M) organized an agitation at Tirunelveli in support of us and some 50 of them including 6 women were arrested by police.
On May 26, 2012, an all party agitation is being staged at 4 PM at the Palai Market Grounds in Tirunelveli in support of the Koodankulam struggle. Mr. R. Nallakannu of CPI, Mr. Thol Thirumavalavan of VCK, Mr. Nanjil Sampath of MDMK, Prof. Jawahirullah of MMK, Mr. Seeman of NTK, Mr. R. Adiyaman of ATP and other will participate in that event.
On May 30, 2012, the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) is organizing an agitation at Tirunelveli to support our struggle also.
Since our fishermen have gone back to work, people from Koottapuli, Perumanal and Kuthenkuzhy are organizing a relay fast in their respective villages not to let go of the struggle and to keep up the momentum. The Idinthakarai relay fast has been going on for the past 283 days.
The Struggle Committee
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)

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