Softening his tough stance in the wake of the Madras High Court dismissing a petition that prayed for the revoking of prohibitory orders promulgated in Radhapuram taluk, the anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project struggle committee convener S.P. Udayakumar said on Monday that he was ready for talks with the State government.
When his reaction was sought after the petition that challenged the invoking of Section 144 of Cr. P. C. was dismissed by the First Bench of the Madras High Court, Dr. Udayakumar, who has been observing an indefinite fast since last Monday against the State government's decision in favour of resuming stalled works at the KKNPP, said the people, who had been agitating against the upcoming nuclear power programme, had been neglected and abandoned by the state and the central governments as their experts' committees were not prepared to meet them.
The people, who earlier had organised protests in support of more power and more funds to Tamil Nadu from the Central Government, had been booked under several cases all of a sudden and some of them had been arrested and subsequently remanded.
“If the cases are dropped and the arrested protesters released, we are ready for talks with the State Government,” Dr. Udayakumar said.
Earlier, two doctors, who examined all the 15 persons observing an indefinite fast since Monday, said they would submit their report to the Deputy Director (Health Services) and the district administration.
When the team came to the protest venue in the afternoon, it was denied permission to examine the protesters, as they said that they would cooperate with the doctors only if cases against them were dropped and the arrested protestors released.
Another rude shock to the villagers was that those arrested at Koottapuli last Monday when they stage a road roko on the main road near their village in protest against the State government's decision to support resumption of work at KKNPP were denied bail by a Valliyoor court.
“This is certainly an unexpected and unfortunate development… So we, who are facing some more petitions in the court that demand the arrest of the protesting leaders, have to decide the future course of action and hence the meeting,” said a protest committee member.
Meanwhile, buses have started coming to Idinthakarai, much to the joy of the villagers, who struggled a lot in going to Kanyakumari.