Expressing their solidarity with the anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project protest, fishermen of Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari districts abstained from fishing on Thursday, on the first anniversary of the renewed anti-KKNPP agitation. Almost all boats in 22 coastal hamlets in Tuticorin district, nine in Tirunelveli district and 42 in Kanyakumari district were moored as the fishermen expressed solidarity with the anti-nuclear protest.
In response to the appeal to strike work on the first anniversary of anti-KKNPP agitation, fishermen of Kooduthaazhai, Uvari, Kooththenkuzhi, Idinthakarai, Thomaiyaarpuram, Perumanal, Panjal and Koottapuli in Tirunelveli district, who usually go for fishing in 1,441 fibreglass boats or catamarans did not venture into the sea. Police had intensified patrolling on the East Coast Road in view of the first anniversary.
Fishing operations came to a grinding halt in Tuticorin as mechanised vessels and country craft across the district remained anchored on shore. Tuticorin fishing harbour wore a deserted look. C. Parthiban, president, Mechanised Boat Fishermen Labourers Association, said that all fishermen had decided to halt operations on August 16, which marked the first anniversary of the renewed protest by People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy at Idinthakarai, a coastal hamlet close to Kudankulam. As many as 269 mechanised fishing boats at Tuticorin fishing harbour and more than 4, 000 country craft were moored. On August 14, 203 mechanised vessels sailed along the coast and executed the daily routine at sea, sources in the fishing harbour management, said.
Fishermen in Kanyakumari, Chinna Muttom, Arockiyapuram, Vauthurai, Puthugramam, Siluvai Nagar, Kovalam, Keezamanakudi and Melamanakudi did not venture into sea in support of the protest. The police had made elaborate security arrangements in the coastal areas to prevent any untoward incident.