Police Atrocity In Koodankulam; One Person Shot Dead
Police are on a rampage against anti-nuclear protesters resisting the fuel loading in Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu, India. Polce beat up hundreds of protesters and lobbed tear gas shells into the crowd. Several people jumped into the sea to escape from police lathicharge. The protest leader Dr. S.P Udayakumar said many of them are yet to report back to the organizers. Hundreds of people were injured in the police lathicharge. Several children fainted after inhaling the tear gas.
The agitation spread to near by districts too. In neighbouring Tuticorin district, one person was reportedly killed in Thoothukudy, when police fired into a crowd of fishermen who were protesting against the nuclear plant. The deceased is identified as Antony Samy (40)
About 30, 000 people are camping outside Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant since yesterday morning. Although yesterday's protest went peaceful, today, police were determined to break the siege of the nuclear plant and resorted to violence against peaceful protesters.
Here are the day's events as it happened:
We just spoke to S P Udayakumar, the humble and inspiring teacher who has been leading consistently non-violent protests in Koodankulam.
Thousands of people spent whole night yesterday under open sky near the sea, refusing to go home. The weather was cold and rough. The people have laid siege 500 metres from the reactor compound, braving the armed police. There was some commotion mid-night amid rumors that the police is arresting the leaders. People are protecting the leading activists, against whom the govt has slapped fictitious criminal charges including sedition, by forming layers of human-shield around them.
People have demanded that the planned fuel loading in the reactor must be immediately stopped. They have also demanded prohibitory orders imposed in the entire area for last several months must be revoked, so that people from neighbouring villages could visit them without fear and bring food and water.
Police forces moved inside the siege area and also resorted to baton charge, which was resisted by people. The people refused to yield, and the forces withdrew. “The situation is back to normal,” according to my informant, if what prevailed before the lathi charge could be considered normal. There is a larger congregation of forces, mostly wielding batons. A large riot-gear bedecked police force is in the frontline facing the people, and tear gas lobbers are apparently on stand-by.
In Chennai, a mass RTI campaign invoking the Life and Liberty clause is being planned at the NPCIL office at No. 51 Montieth Road, Egmore, Chennai 8, at 3 p.m. (via Nityanand Jayaraman)
SMS from Dr. S P Udayakumar: Police are intimidating people by moving closer, swaying batons. Thousands of women and children are here. Officials threatened with naval intervention. Situation is very tense and dangerous. We need your appeals to the governments.
Baton wielding police attack protesters and beat them up and tear gas shells being lobbed. People running towards sea. Hemmed in between armed police and the sea some jump into the sea
Sahaya Initha, councilor got severely injured. Shelson was injured in the throat and got admitted along with Antony in the Idinthakarai hospital. Kennedy had his hand broken. Several children got fainted due to the tear gas used by the police. Children who took shelter in the school were surrounded by police. Police threw water cans near the church.