Leaders of various parties and outfits, including MDMK leader Vaiko, were held here on Friday when they attempted to proceed to Idinthakarai, the epicentre of protests against Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.

They were on their way to express their solidarity with the locals demanding the scrapping of the Indo-Russian project.

Leaders and volunteers of MDMK, PMK, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, Nam Tamizhar Iyakkam and Popular Front of India and Anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant People’s Movement co-ordinator ‘Kolathur’ Mani were detained at Palayamkottai here for defying prohibitory orders in force in the entire Radhapuram taluk under which Kudunakulam and Idinthakarai fall, police said.

Earlier, they participated in a rally organised here to condemn the central and State governments for their “atrocious” attitude in going ahead with the project and the crackdown on People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), spearheading the protest.

They demanded that the Centre give the State government full freedom to produce power it required, allocate the entire quantum of power produced from the thermal stations at Neyveli to the State and not to commission the Kudankulam project till the people’s fears were removed.

The rally urged the State government to withdraw the cases filed against the PMANE members and release the arrested leaders. Besides, it demanded that huge police force stationed in and around Kudankulam be withdrawn and prohibitory orders lifted.

Addressing the rally, Mr. Vaiko attacked DMK President M Karunanidhi for his stand that Rs 14,000 crore would go waste if the KNPP was not commissioned and asked as to “What the DMK leader has to say about the Rs 1.75 lakh crore loss caused by his partymen in the 2G spectrum scam.”

He said Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had let down PMNANE activists after passing a cabinet resolution earlier that the project should not be commissioned without convincing the locals about its safety.