Sandeep Pandey, Magsaysay award winner and a convener of the National Alliance of People's Movements, said on Friday that Indian nuclear scientists were dealing with an unknown technology in the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) and that it should not be commissioned hastily as it was against the people's interest.

Talking to presspersons here, Mr Pandey said the agreement signed with Russia to set the KKNPP predated the Indo-US nuclear deal and hence was done outside the internationally accepted non-proliferation regime. At the plant, scientists of Department of Atomic Energy were dealing with an unknown technology and had to rely on Croatian scientists to carry out inspections.

Even in the case of an accident, the Indian scientists would have to wait for Russians or Croatians to come and tell them how to handle the situation.

Keeping agitating villagers in the dark about the implications of setting up a nuclear power plant in their neighbourhood was a human rights violation, he argued. Instead of treating people with the respect they deserved in a democracy, they had been charged with sedition and waging war against the State.

Urging the State government to withdraw the cases slapped on the people agitating against the commissioning of the plant at Kudankulam,

Mr. Pandey said, “That there has been no violence so far is a unique feature of this movement and the credit goes to the fisherfolk of Tirunelveli. The government must withdraw all false cases and release two of the activists still in jail, Satish Kumar and Muhilan.”