#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.

 

KNPP Commissioning Postponed


English: Construction site of the Koodankulam ...

English: Construction site of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant Deutsch: Baustelle des Kernkraftwerks Kudankulam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

CHENNAI | MAY 15, 2013

 

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd has postponed the expected date of commissioning of the first unit of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant to next month.

With a physical progress completed upto 99.66 per cent, the 1,000 MW first unit is expected to be commissioned next month, NPCIL website said.

Earlier, NPCIL expected it to be commissioned by this month.

NPCIL is building two 1,000 MW VVER nuclear power units with Russian collaboration at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.

The Supreme Court had on May 6 cleared hurdles in commissioning of the controversial plant, saying that the safety and security requirements have been taken care of and the project would benefit larger public interest.

The project has missed several deadlines since December last year following protests by locals over safety concerns.

 

 

 

 

Fishermen protest SC nod for Kudankulam


TIRUNELVELI, May 15, 2013

 

Special Correspondent, The Hindu

Fishermen from coastal hamlets of Tirunelveli district stayed away from the sea on Tuesday as a protest against Supreme Court's judgment in favour of the commissioning of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project first reactor— Photo: A. SHAIKMOHIDEEN

Fishermen from coastal hamlets of Tirunelveli district stayed away from the sea on Tuesday as a protest against Supreme Court‘s judgment in favour of the commissioning of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project first reactor— Photo: A. SHAIKMOHIDEEN

Fishermen in the coastal hamlets of Tirunelveli district abstained from fishing operations in protest against the Supreme Court verdict that allowed the commissioning of the first reactor of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP).

The anti-KKNPP activists, who are staging a series of protests against the upcoming nuclear power project for the past several months, had announced that they would not accept the Supreme Court verdict that allowed the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, the proponent of the project, to commission the first of the two 1,000 MW reactors being built with Russian assistance at Kudankulam.

At a meeting at Idinthakarai last Thursday to discuss the apex court’s judgment, they appealed to the fishermen of Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari districts to abstain from all fishing operations on Tuesday.

Responding to the appeal, country boat fishermen struck work on Tuesday and staged demonstrations in their hamlets against the KKNPP, alleging that the nuclear power project would wipe out their livelihood.

 

#India – Children of Koodankulam: Growing Up With The Struggle #mustread


dianuke.org

Anitha S.

We are the children of the Porattam ( struggle) against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Thirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu in Southern India. As we write this it will be 588 days since we have been holding the porattam in the stage of the Lourde Matha church in the Idinthakarai village.

We have gone through many phases in the past one and a half years. The Fukushima disaster and the terrible sound of the trial run in the Nuclear power plant so close is what made all of us really think about the disaster which might befall us. Since then we have been asking the Government many questions regarding the impact of the Nuclear Power plant on our health, on the ocean life, air and soil that sustain us, on our livelihoods, on the safety of the region which has been areas with tremors, subsidence and tsunami… all to no avail! We have stood in the sea, walked the beaches, held press conferences, buried in the sand, danced, sung and shouted slogans, travelled to many places and spoken but there has been no answer.

koodankulamchildren1We have been chased, beaten and injured by tear gas shells. We have been held captive in our own villages with no bus or regular transport facilities. We have stayed for days either in our own homes or unable to go home as Police surrounded us. We have had Section 144 declared for months on end- now too it is on till April 9th after we had the siege on March 11 when more than 1000 boats went to sea. Our dear Uncle Ganeshan has been taken away ten days back from his village Koodankulam and locked up. Our fathers and brothers have stayed away from fishing for days. We have stayed away from school for weeks. Our mothers and aunts have been locked up for months in jail.

All because we asked some questions and questioned the Nuclear Power Plant. We raised many doubts about the intense and cruel suppression of our democratic rights to pursue our own lives in the homeland that belongs to us. We proclaimed we are not illiterate and stupid, but capable of understanding the hideous and unjust face of the representatives of people ( as they are called).

It has been a great learning experience growing up with the Porattam. We have met so many interesting people involve in true life struggles from all over the country. We have had activists, journalists, poets and film makers from Japan, Australia and UK visiting us with stories from their own country. We have seen so many films and pictures of the disasters connected to Nuclear Energy. We have been supported by students from various schools and colleges. We have met great people like Mahasveta Devi and V.R.Krishna Iyer, Aruna Roy and Medha Patkar all of whom have spoken for us and about us.

Today has been a happy day for us. We realize more than ever that Knowledge is the greatest power in the world. The fact that each one of us in the struggle have been made aware of the various details of the Nuclear lobby is what has gained us the true strength to pursue our goal. From the 8 year old to the 80 year old, we speak with clarity about why we are staying steadfast with the movement against Nuclear Energy.

Today we sat in the new Reading space that has been created in the stage – the real stage of our simple lives. The Reading space was formed with contributions that was made by people towards the book No: Echoes Koodankulam. We know that many of us are characters in the book and it has taken the message of our porattam far and wide. We are so thankful to all who gave their contributions so that this space was made possible. On the day the book was released, 2 of our close friends, Labika and Ignesh travelled all the way to Kochi to receive the book from Mahasveta Devi. She told them that is easy to say Yes, but we should learn to say No. The porattam has shown us the way to say No boldly and non-violently, persistently and continuously. We have heard that there has been small but very intense discussions about the anti-nuclear movement in our village in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and many parts of Kerala centering around No: Echoes Koodankulam. It has been heartening to hear about travels with the book.

We love to read and write. Today Melrit auntie who is in charge of the library gave us each a book and we all sat out in the sand and read. It was nice to see that many of the books had writings in both Tamil and English. Some of the mothers in the courtyard were reading it out to the younger ones. Many of the books had colourful illustrations that attracted the attention of the tiny tots. While reading and imagining the stories, many of us forgot the tension that has been pervading our lives for 580 days. We became children, with fantasies and dreams, with free thoughts and wild imaginations. This is real childhood. But some of us also know that we have to gain knowledge and excel in our studies so that the message of our dear porattam days will be always a source of inspiration. We have been tempered and seasoned by its power. We want to give back to these villages what it has given us- the sense of belonging and space, the self esteem and independence that our hard working forefathers have left us, the power of honesty and dedication that this coming together has taught us. For this we all are glad today- for the diverse spaces, including the Reading space this Porattam has given us.

Anitha.S ( catastrophe64@gmail.com) after travelling to Idinthakarai with second set of books for Reading space bought with Contributions to NO: Echoes Koodankulam. Conversations with Ignesh, Labisha, Labika, Shobhana, Selja, Shyamili, Pinochio, Anselvam, Sundari, Chellamma, Mary, Leela ,Rani, Meera ,Udayakumar, Milton, Pushparayan, Kebiston.

Thanks to Tulika team ( Chennai ) and the Sudarshan Book Centre, Nagercoil for their help and support.

 

 

#India- Growing Up With The Struggle #Koodankulam #mustread


 

By Anitha S

05 April, 2013
Countercurrents.org

We are the children of the Porattam ( struggle) against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Thirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu in Southern India. As we write this it will be 588 days since we have been holding the porattam in the stage of the Lourde Matha church in the Idinthakarai village.

We have gone through many phases in the past one and a half years. The Fukushima disaster and the terrible sound of the trial run in the Nuclear power plant so close is what made all of us really think about the disaster which might befall us. Since then we have been asking the Government many questions regarding the impact of the Nuclear Power plant on our health, on the ocean life, air and soil that sustain us, on our livelihoods, on the safety of the region which has been areas with tremors, subsidence and tsunami… all to no avail! We have stood in the sea, walked the beaches, held press conferences, buried in the sand, danced, sung and shouted slogans, travelled to many places and spoken but there has been no answer.

We have been chased, beaten and injured by tear gas shells. We have been held captive in our own villages with no bus or regular transport facilities. We have stayed for days either in our own homes or unable to go home as Police surrounded us. We have had Section 144 declared for months on end- now too it is on till April 9th after we had the siege on March 11 when more than 1000 boats went to sea. Our dear Uncle Ganeshan has been taken away ten days back from his village Koodankulam and locked up. Our fathers and brothers have stayed away from fishing for days. We have stayed away from school for weeks. Our mothers and aunts have been locked up for months in jail.

All because we asked some questions and questioned the Nuclear Power Plant. We raised many doubts about the intense and cruel suppression of our democratic rights to pursue our own lives in the homeland that belongs to us. We proclaimed we are not illiterate and stupid, but capable of understanding the hideous and unjust face of the representatives of people ( as they are called).

It has been a great learning experience growing up with the Porattam. We have met so many interesting people involve in true life struggles from all over the country. We have had activists, journalists, poets and film makers from Japan, Australia and UK visiting us with stories from their own country. We have seen so many films and pictures of the disasters connected to Nuclear Energy. We have been supported by students from various schools and colleges. We have met great people like Mahasveta Devi and V.R.Krishna Iyer, Aruna Roy and Medha Patkar all of whom have spoken for us and about us.

Today has been a happy day for us. We realize more than ever that Knowledge is the greatest power in the world. The fact that each one of us in the struggle have been made aware of the various details of the Nuclear lobby is what has gained us the true strength to pursue our goal. From the 8 year old to the 80 year old, we speak with clarity about why we are staying steadfast with the movement against Nuclear Energy.

Today we sat in the new Reading space that has been created in the stage – the real stage of our simple lives. The Reading space was formed with contributions that was made by people towards the book No: Echoes Koodankulam. We know that many of us are characters in the book and it has taken the message of our porattam far and wide. We are so thankful to all who gave their contributions so that this space was made possible. On the day the book was released, 2 of our close friends, Labika and Ignesh travelled all the way to Kochi to receive the book from Mahasveta Devi. She told them that is easy to say Yes, but we should learn to say No. The porattam has shown us the way to say No boldly and non-violently, persistently and continuously. We have heard that there has been small but very intense discussions about the anti-nuclear movement in our village in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and many parts of Kerala centering around No: Echoes Koodankulam. It has been heartening to hear about travels with the book.

We love to read and write. Today Melrit auntie who is in charge of the library gave us each a book and we all sat out in the sand and read. It was nice to see that many of the books had writings in both Tamil and English. Some of the mothers in the courtyard were reading it out to the younger ones. Many of the books had colourful illustrations that attracted the attention of the tiny tots. While reading and imagining the stories, many of us forgot the tension that has been pervading our lives for 580 days. We became children, with fantasies and dreams, with free thoughts and wild imaginations. This is real childhood. But some of us also know that we have to gain knowledge and excel in our studies so that the message of our dear porattam days will be always a source of inspiration. We have been tempered and seasoned by its power. We want to give back to these villages what it has given us- the sense of belonging and space, the self esteem and independence that our hard working forefathers have left us, the power of honesty and dedication that this coming together has taught us. For this we all are glad today- for the diverse spaces, including the Reading space this Porattam has given us.

Anitha.S ( catastrophe64@gmail.com) after travelling to Idinthakarai with second set of books for Reading space bought with Contributions to NO: Echoes Koodankulam. Conversations with Ignesh, Labisha, Labika, Shobhana, Selja, Shyamili, Pinochio, Anselvam, Sundari, Chellamma, Mary, Leela ,Rani, Meera ,Udayakumar, Milton, Pushparayan, Kebiston.

Thanks to Tulika team ( Chennai ) and the Sudarshan Book Centre, Nagercoil for their help and support.

 

 

Steam being let out of Kudankulam is due to tests, says NPCIL…. Really ?


    

Chennai: India’s atomic power plant operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) said on Monday that only steam was being let out of the first unit of theKudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) as part of tests.

“As a part of commissioning tests of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, the steam relief valves on the steam lines are being tested. These tests are conducted only during the day and only steam, or water vapour, is released as part of the tests,” said RS Sundar, KNPP site director.

KudankulamNuclearPlant_APDisputing NPCIL’s stand, M Pushparayan of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) told IANS: “For the past three days we heard loud noises from the plant. Thick black and white smoke emanated from the plant and there was a strong stench.”

He said that in 2011, KNPP had carried out similar tests, but this time the noise and the stench was much more.

The PMANE will lay siege to the NPCIL employee’s residential colony near Kudankulam on 3 April, protesting the indifferent attitude of the government towards the people and their demands, Pushparayan added.

NPCIL, India’s atomic power plant operator, is setting up the project in Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, around 650 km from Chennai, with two Russian-made VVER 1,000-MW each reactors.

KNPP is an outcome of the inter-governmental agreement between India and erstwhile Soviet Union in 1988. However, construction only began in 2001.

Pushparayan said there were contradictions about the plant and its commissioning date.

“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says the plant will be operational in April while NPCIL’s website mentions the date as May 2013,” he said.

http://www.firstpost.com/india/steam-being-let-out-of-kudankulam-is-due-to-tests-says-npcil-681243.html

 

Kudankulam nuclear power project cost up 14%


Construction began in Sept 2001 with estimated cost at Rs 13,600 cr; expenditure on the project at Rs 15,454 cr till Jan 2013

 Economy & Policy » News » News

BS Reporter  |  Chennai  March 21, 2013

The delay in commissioning of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) has pushed the project cost up around 14 per cent. When construction began in September 2001, the government had joined hands with Russia for the project, which was then expected to cost Rs 13,600 crore. But according to the government, till January 2013, expenditure on KNPP was Rs 15,454 crore.

Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office V Narayanasamy said, the expenditure on Kudankulam Project (KKNPP Units 1&2 – 2 x 1000 Mw) till January 2013 had been Rs 15,454 crore and efforts were being made to commission the first unit in May this year. It may be noted that the project was supposed to go on stream in Sept 2007.

KNPP is in the coastal village of Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, 650 km south of Chennai. An inter-governmental agreement for the project was signed in Nov 1988 by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and erstwhile Soviet Union’s President Mikhail Gorbachev, for construction of two reactors.

However, the project was in a limbo for a decade due to the political and economic upheaval in Russia after the post-1991 breakup of the Soviet Union. There were also objections from the United States on the grounds that the agreement does not meet the 1992 terms of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Then, the construction began only in September 2001 and the cost was estimated to be $3 billion (around Rs 13,600 crore).

In a statement to the Lok Sabha on Thursday, the minister, said in nuclear power plants, a series of activities including integrated system tests, first criticality, subsequent performance tests, synchronisation of the unit with the grid and raising of power in steps take place.

The nuclear power reactors at Kudankulam employ several safety features to ensure protection of people and the environment even under most stressful situation like extreme natural events leading to a loss of power and cooling water supply, the minister said.

 

#India-*Do We Exist? -Fifth Letter From The Women Of Idinthakarai #Koodankulam #Vaw


    23 October, 2012
    From
    The Women of Idinthakarai
    People’s Movement against Nuclear Energy
    Idinthakarai
    Thirunelveli district

    Dear Sister

    We hope you are all fine. This is the fifth letter from us to all of you.
    So much has happened since we last wrote to you. As we look at the yellow
    domes of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant so close to our homes, we
    wonder what is happening there. We have one question to you all: Do you
    know exactly what is happening there?

    We have heard that fuel loading with 163 enriched uranium rods that started on Sept 16th got over by Oct 2nd. What an auspiscious day to complete the initiation of one of the most violent of processes human kind has discovered!
    The Nuclear Power Corporation of India states that the KKNPP is
    just 2 steps away from attaining criticality.
    It is also understood that the safety concerns of the villagers (does it
    mean us ?) are misplaced. At the same time the NPCIL assured the Supreme
    Court that there is no human population within 2km Exclusivity zone of the
    plant and no such colony as the Tsunami colony falls within this zone.
    Whoever wants can make a complaint or representation for which sufficient
    relocation, rehabilitation and compensation measures will be made. The
    NPCIL claims that sufficient caution has been taken about the population
    living within 5km sterilization zone of the power plant.
    We have yet another question in our minds: So WHERE ARE WE?
    Do we exist? Do we live within the exclusivity or sterilization zone? Are
    we to go and make a representation or complaint and wait for the response?
    We understand that none of our representations or appeals have been
    considered. Now how can we make a representation about something that we do
    not ever want? We do not want to be relocated or rehabilitated. We want to
    be here by the seashore in our own birthplace. We want to pursue our
    livelihoods linked to the sea and its bounties. We want good food, water
    and access to resources here in these villages. We do not want money that
    is so ephemeral. We are willing to work hard, earn and live well. This is
    the only representation that we want to make .
    We have no complaints other than dissent about the way in which the concerned authorities are unwilling to come to us and allay our fears and doubts. We want them to assure us
    that the KKNPP will not be allowed to attain criticality at the cost of our
    lives and dreams. We want our sisters and brothers languishing in the jails
    to be released. We want our peaceful resistance to be dealt with decently
    and humanely.
    This is all we have to tell you. Please share this with the world.
    We hope this will not be the last letter we are writing to you
    Thanking you
    Oct 23, 2012
    Sisters from Idinthakarai
    *Prepared by Anitha.S after talking to women of Idinthakarai *

    1 Democratic protest and 8,000 Sedition cases. Is India a free country?


     

     

    The protest over the nuclear plant in Koodankulam has claimed the livelihood of thousands, with bogus charges filed and restrictions on their occupation, reportsSoumik Mukherjee, Tehelka

    Protest trail (left) Children at the Tirunelveli Collectorate; Villagers burn a coffin representing democracy, on 15 August

    Photos: Amirtharaj Stephen

    IDINTHAKARAI, A small coastal village in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district, overlooks a horizon dotted with windmills. The village is populated by small-time fishermen eking out a modest living. But, according to the register at the Kudankulam police station, this village is the country’s most notorious place. People here are waging a war against the nation. They are all seditious. This is the first time, in the history of this country, that 8,000 cases of sedition and waging a war against the nation have been registered, at a single police station.

    However, a visit to Idinthakarai dispels this myth of sedition. The village, at the brink of a soon-to-be functional 2,000 MW nuclear plant, is definitely waging a war. Not against the State, though, but for its right to a nuclear disaster-free future.

    A nuclear plant, located only a few kilometres away from the villages, threatens the very existence of the people in Koodankulam. Fishing, their principal means of livelihood, is facing extinction.

    “If anything, this has only trivialised the gravity of the charges of sedition,” says SP Udayakumar, the leader of People’s Movement against Nuclear Energy (PMANE). “We led a democratic and nonviolent protest here for over a year and they charged 8,000 people with sedition. If we are seditious, then the Atomic Energy Research Board (AERB), which has been named by the CAG for irregularities in the nuclear policy, is committing a bigger crime by playing with millions of lives,” he says. Apart from sedition cases, criminal cases have been lodged against as many as 66,000 people in the past year.

    Most of the sedition cases were lodged on three occasions. During a sit-in at the plant premises in October 2011, the Koodankulam police, after using violent means to ward off the protesters, lodged as many as 3,000 cases. In November 2011, more cases were filed when fishermen from the neighbouring villages staged a peaceful demonstration by the sea. The last mass registration of sedition cases occurred recently, on Independence Day this year. As a sign of protest, villagers in the surrounding areas of the plant refused to hoist the national flag. They put up black flags instead. The district administration deemed the protest seditious, nevertheless. “A few thousand more cases of waging war against the nation were lodged that day,” informs Pushparayan Victoria, a colleague of Udaykumar’s.

    Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan rubbishes the cases, even calling them ‘absurd’. “The SC, in a verdict in 1962, said that only an act of overthrowing the State qualifies as sedition. This is just an instance of a peaceful movement being suppressed by these false cases,” he says.

    Interestingly, the Tirunelveli Police backtracked on all their previous atrocities. Superintendent of Police Vijayendra Bidari says that police never dealt with the protesters in an ‘undemocratic manner.’ “The numbers that are doing the rounds are false,” says Bidari. “We have named only 20 people or so in the FIRs,” he says. Since most of the names were registered under ‘others’, the entire village is under the threat of a judicial trial now. “We are working on the chargesheets and we have enough evidence against some of these people, which will be produced in the court,” Bidari asserts.

    People who have found jobs abroad claim they have been denied their passports because of the sedition charges

    Civil society from all over the country have protested against the State’s treatment of a peaceful movement. Khurram Pervez, a civil society activist from Kashmir, says, “It’s nothing new. The state of India monopolises violence. Any voice of dissent, in Kashmir, Northeast or Koodankulam, is sedition in its eyes. We were shocked to see that people from a small village are being charged with sedition because of protesting against a nuclear plant.”

    As a result of the cases, people in Kudankulam are being denied their basic rights. “No new passports are being issued; in fact, some of the passports that arrived have been called back,” informs Victoria. Even though the Tirunelveli Police claims they cleared all the passport applications, TEHELKA found that no passports have been issued to people in the village, who applied in the past one year. “I have secured a job in Saudi Arabia. My agent assured me of a visa too, but I’ve been waiting for the passport for the past one year,” says Joihar, 24. “My name is not there in any FIR, but I’m facing the brunt,” he says. It is the same situation with many youngsters in Koodankulam, and family members rue this denial of opportunity to go abroad and add to the collective income.

    The small-scale fishing industry, which has been going through turmoil over the past year because of the protest, is no longer profitable. “The prawn season is over and we caught nothing this year as the breeding area was declared a ‘restricted land’ by the plant authority,” says Francis Leon, a villager in Koodankulam. “The fishermen are now living off a meagre income by making bidis,” he says. The movement is being run by the locals, for which they are sacrificing their personal lives. “The government alleges that our struggle is being funded by the Catholic churchrun NGOs, but in reality, people are funding their own movement,” says Udayakumar.

    Rosari, a housewife in her 50s, seconds the sentiment. “This economic stalemate has ruined our lives in the past year. We can’t send our children to school. We’ve stopped celebrating festivals,” she says. “The plant is our nemesis; it will slowly kill all the nearby villages just like it happened in Kalapakkam. Now there is no fish to catch,” says 38-year-old Belsi.

    Now, the residents are waiting for Madras High Court’s verdict. “The protest has lost a bit of its sheen, because people had to carry on with their lives. But as soon as the verdict is out, which will be definitely against us, we will start afresh,” says Amrithraj, a documentary photographer, who has been recording the movement since the very beginning.

    Protest trail People gather from sea and land to protest against the nuclear plant

    THE PROTESTERS believe the irregularities being unearthed every day in nuclear policies will strengthen the cause and solidify the movement. In an RTI reply, the National Disaster Management Authority recently revealed that India does not have a policy on spreading public awareness about a possible nuclear disaster. “It can only deal with a disaster after it has taken place. The State is playing with its subjects in the name of development,” says Udayakumar.

    Till the Koodankulam nuclear power plant gears up for its operation, the villagers find themselves in a stalemate. “There is no more faith in the state government too,” says Udayakumar. “Jayalalithaa supported us as the leader of Opposition but now that she is in power, nothing is being done,” he says. There is no support from nearby states like Kerala either. “They want 500 MW of electricity from this plant, but forget that in case of a disaster, they are susceptible in an equal measure,” he says.

    Curiously enough, two windmills from the Tamil Nadu Energy Department Agency stand in the premises of the plant. Does the administration know that this grid alone produces 3,500 MW electricity from the windmills, almost twice as much as the much-hyped nuclear plant?

    Soumik Mukherjee is a Photo Correspondent with Tehelka.
    soumik@tehelka.com

     

    IMMEDIATE RELEASE- Rights Groups Slam Nellai Collector for Delaying Bail for K-activists


    PRESS RELEASE

    Rights Groups Slam Nellai Collector for Delaying Bail for K-activists
    8 June, 2012. CHENNAI — Four days after the Madras High Court granted bail to anti-nuke activists Sathish Kumar and Mughilan, release of the duo is being delayed by the Tirunelveli district administration. The Village Administrative Officer has refused to sign the property papers of eight Idinthakarai residents — four each for Mughilan and Sathish — who had come forward to produce surety valued at Rs. 10,000 each as per the Court’s orders. The papers were readied and handed over to the VAO as early as 30 April, 2012, when bail for the cases involving charges of sedition and waging war was granted.

    Endorsing the surety papers is a matter of routine if the pledged property is valued at more than the surety amount. However, the VAO said he cannot do it as he has not received any instructions from the DIstrict Collector. Disturbed by the irregular delay in endorsing the papers, senior CPI leader Nallakannu met the Tirunelveli DIstrict Collector Mr. Selvaraj and DIG Varadarajulu yesterday. Both assured the delegation of immediate action. However, the VAO maintains that no instructions have been conveyed to him.

    Meanwhile, the District Collector is not reachable for comments, and the two youngsters are likely to remain in jail over the weekend. The Chennai Solidarity Group for Koodankulam Struggle has condemned the vengeful and petty behaviour of the District Collector, and urged senior officials to intervene. The groups also said that civil rights activists will approach the Chief Secretary with a complaint about the District Collector.

    Less than a week ago, a committee led by Justice AP Shah released a report condemning the violation of democratic rights by the State Government and the police machinery. Clearly, the State Government has chosen to ignore the recommendations and instead take revenge on two innocent youngsters, the Solidarity Group said.

    For further details, contact:
    Chennai Solidarity Group – 9444082401

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