One-day anti-nuke fast turns into 72-hour strike at Idinthakarai

Protesters vow to do what it takes to stop Kudankulam power plant

October 09, 2011 04:23 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 12:54 am IST - Tirunelveli

A view of the second reactor building at Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu. File photo: A. Shaikmohideen

A view of the second reactor building at Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu. File photo: A. Shaikmohideen

The one-day token fast observed by the anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project protesters at Idinthakarai on Sunday has been converted into a 72-hour-long hunger strike “to condemn the Central Government's adamant attitude” in rejecting the Tamil Nadu Cabinet's recent resolution pertaining to the halting of construction activities at KKNPP.

Subsequently, 106 persons, including 22 women, two physically challenged and three priests, started their 72-hour-long hunger strike in front of St. Lourdes Church at Idinthakarai.

“If the Centre, which is adamantly refusing to honour the Tamil Nadu Cabinet resolution on halting all construction activities at KKNPP and even the maintenance of the upcoming nuclear reactors, continues to be obstinate, we, who are hitherto waging our protests in non-violent fashion, will be forced to think of other forms of agitation on Tuesday evening. Hence, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as a mark of respecting the sentiments of 8 crore-strong Tamils, should take an immediate and firm decision to honour the resolution of Tamil Nadu Cabinet,” said coordinator of the KKNPP struggle committee S.P. Udhayakumar. A resolution was also adopted in this connection in the token fast.

To discuss the struggle committee's recent meeting with the Prime Minister, nearly 3,000 persons from the coastal hamlets in the district gathered in front of St. Lourdes Church at Idinthakarai on Sunday where the protesters had organised the 12-day-long fast demanding the closure of KKNPP. As Mr. Manmohan Singh dashed off a letter to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa after his meeting with the protesters asking her to ensure the timely operation of the KKNPP, Sunday's meeting at Idinthakarai was converted into a one-day token fast.

Addressing the protesters, Dr. Udhayakumar, who explained in detail their meeting with the Prime Minister, said the Union Government should respect the State Cabinet's resolution by ordering the halt of all activities at KKNPP.

“The Union Government, which had earlier rejected the State Cabinet's resolutions on retrieving Katchatheevu and the commutation of death sentences Rajiv Gandhi assassins, is once again snubbing Tamil Nadu Cabinet's resolution on KKNPP. This time we'll not allow this to happen. We'll resist vehemently and intensify our protest till all ongoing development activities at KKNPP are stopped completely,” Dr. Udhayakumar said.

When he noted that it might take even two years to achieve the goal of permanent closure of KKNPP, mild grouse among the protesters could be felt.

The struggle committee members and the leaders from various villages and community leaders convened a 90-minute-long meeting at Bishop Roach Higher Secondary School near the protest venue to discuss the future course of action. The meeting unanimously passed ten resolutions, of which nine condemned the Centre and its agencies Atomic Energy Commission and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited. The meeting also appealed to the State to once again press its earlier resolution.

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