Terming the Rs.500-crore rehabilitation package announced by the State government, “an attempt to bribe the anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project protesters,” the anti-KKNPP struggle committee convener, S.P. Udayakumar, on Monday said that the government, which succumbed to undue pressure from the Centre, should not malign the ongoing protest.

Speaking to The Hindu at Idinthakarai, Dr. Udayakumar said that at a time when Tamils were celebrating the Centre's decision to back the United States-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka “for the island nation's war crimes against Tamils in the last phase of the war,” the State Cabinet had dropped a bombshell by announcing that work at KKNPP could be resumed. To make things worse, it had announced a Rs.500-crore rehabilitation package for development of the areas around the KKNPP.

“Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who had earlier said that she would be with the protesters until their genuine apprehensions about the project were cleared, has announced that work can be resumed at the upcoming project, where several irregularities have been identified.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), in violation of the norms of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is trying to load the actual fuel rods into the reactor without conducting the mandatory ‘safety drill' for the locals.

“If the VVER reactors being built by Russia are the best in the world, the supplier could have accepted the Nuclear Liability Bill in its present form and these reactors would have been accepted by the West Bengal government. The Union government is making sustained attempts to target Tamils by establishing these nuclear reactors at Kudankulam,” he Dr. Udayakumar alleged.

He said the Cabinet decision had only shown that Tamils fighting for their right to live had been abandoned.

A Dornier aircraft made a couple of sorties in the evening over the project site after fishermen from neighbouring coastal hamlets started reaching the protest venue by sea.

Police sources said that DIGs Ramasubramanian (Ramanathapuram), Sanjay Mathur (Dindigul) and Varadharaju (Tirunelveli), 10 SPs and around 5,000 policemen had been deployed around the village near KKNPP.

“The Central Industrial Security Force, in a bid to bolster the existing strength, has decided to send 300 more jawans on Tuesday and the IG from Mumbai and DIG from Hyderabad are expected to arrive at Kudankualm on Tuesday,” the police sources added.

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