Urges fishermen not to fall a prey to “false campaign” by protesters

Police resorted to firing teargas to disperse the anti-nuclear plant agitators to protect the nuclear power plant in Kudankulam, as any damage to the plant would have severely affected the general public, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said on Monday.

In a statement here, she said one person died when a policeman opened fire in self-defence after a group of agitators set on fire a temporary police check-post at Manapadu in Tuticorin district. She ordered release of Rs five lakh to the family of the deceased from the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund. Calling upon fishermen not to fall a prey to the “false campaign” of protesters, she said there was no threat to their livelihood from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP).

She requested the anti-nuclear power project activists to give up their protest as KKNPP was fully equipped with safety mechanisms. She asked them to extend cooperation to the functioning of the plants.

The Chief Minister said it was inappropriate on the part of the protesters to stop the loading of fuel, as the Madras High Court had given its nod after hearing the petition filed by the protesters.

Recalling the various stages the project went through before fuel loading, she said even her government had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on September 19, 2011, urging him not to go ahead with the project work till the apprehensions of the local people were allayed. The State Cabinet adopted a resolution in this regard after the members of the People’s Movement for Nuclear Energy met her on September 21.

She said a 15-member committee, comprising representatives of the Centre and the State government, was constituted to hold talks with three representatives of the protesters.

The final talks were held on January 31, 2012. Besides clarifying their doubts, the committee submitted a report vouching for the plant’s safety. Subsequently, the State government appointed an experts’ committee which submitted a report concluding that the plant was safe. As the committee recommended some measures for improving the socio-economic conditions of the local people, the Cabinet adopted a resolution for allocation of Rs 500 crore on March 19, 2012, she said.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National