The anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) protesters called off their nine-day-long indefinite fast on Tuesday evening, following talks with the district administration, led by Collector R. Selvaraj
The Collector partially lifted the prohibitory orders imposed on the entire Radhapuram taluk after the State Cabinet passed a resolution in favour of resuming works stalled at the upcoming nuclear power project.
However, the protesters decided to resume the relay fast at the same venue at Idinthakarai from Wednesday until their associates were released from prison.
The protesters' representatives, led by Rev. Fr. Leonard alias Arimavalavan of ‘Thamizhar Kalam;' B. Sundari of Idinthakarai; V. Pandi of Kudankulam; Ponsamy of Vairaavikinaru; T. Joseph of Kooththakuzhi; Raymond, Lerins and Antony of Uvari; Raymond of Koottapuli; Johnson of Kooduthaazhai; Conscius of Periya Thaazhai and Starwin of Alanthalai, held talks with the government side represented by Selvaraj, Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Tirunelveli Range V. Vardharaju, Superintendent of Police Vijayendra S. Bidari, Sub-Collector, Cheranmahadevi, Rohini Ramdas and Tahsildar, Radhapuram, V. Subramanian at Radhapuram taluk office.
During the three-hour meeting, the protesters' representatives told the Collector that cases registered against those involved in the struggle against the KKNPP should be withdrawn and those arrested and remanded in judicial custody released unconditionally. The government should revoke the prohibitory orders clamped on the Radhapuram taluk and ensure transparency in nuclear waste management at the KKNPP.
Investigations pertaining to oceanography, geology and hydrology should be conducted afresh around the KKNPP by an independent body and documents pertaining to the agreement reached between the Indian and Russian governments on nuclear liability must be made public. Mock emergency drill and disaster management training should be conducted in villages within 30-km radius from the project site.
Above all, the protesters, who were prepared to give up the struggle and even assure that they would not to lay siege to the KKNPP complex, said the police should allow them to continue their agitation in a democratic manner.
Even as the meeting was going on, Archbishop of Madurai, Rt. Rev. Peter Fernando joined the protesters' team. Emerging from the meeting, Rev. Fr. Arimavalavan said the demand for lifting prohibitory orders had been partly accepted. The Collector later said Section 144 of CrPC. would be in force only in the areas falling around the KKNPP site while it would be lifted in other areas of the taluk.
The convener of the anti-KKNPP struggle committee S.P. Udayakumar said until the detained protesters were released from prisons, they would neither give up their relay fast nor leave the protest venue. “The entire world is watching our nonviolent protest, which will continue,” said Dr. Udayakumar before accepting the juice offered by Rt. Rev. Peter Fernando to mark the end of the indefinite fast.