A day after one person was killed in police firing during a protest against the proposed nuclear plant in Jaitapur, Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said his Ministry could not be blamed for the incident. He accused the Shiv Sena of politicising the issue.

“What happened in Jaitapur is most depressing. It caused me great anguish. There is a form of democratic protest, which we must all accept and acknowledge. But firing, and people dying, is unacceptable in democracy,” he said on Tuesday.

“You cannot use environmental clearance as the crutch upon which to base all your battles,” he said. “We gave clearance on the 28th of November from an environmental point of view. We have nothing to do with compensation, land acquisition, people's concerns, economics of nuclear power, nuclear safety...those were issues that our Ministry is neither competent nor mandated to deal with.”

“Genuine issues” had to be discussed in the proper fora. “There are differences of opinion and it is incumbent upon the government to address these public issues and public concerns. Even if it takes a few months more, we should address those issues.”