CHENNAI, September 10, 2012 - Greenpeace, an environmental watchdog, today condemns the government of Tamil Nadu for its continuous crackdown and use of force on anti-nuclear protest at the Koodankulam nuclear power plant. Police fired teargas shells and lathicharged thousands of protestors gathered near the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant. Greenpeace stands in solidarity with the people of Koodankulam and their struggle for justice. (1)
Reacting to the developments in Koodankulam, Greenpeace campaigner Karuna Raina requested Tamil Nadu government to not use force and decide on its nuclear ambitions based on public opinion and consensus among all stakeholders. “The commissioning of a nuclear power plant should not happen without consensus with the stakeholders. In the case of Koodankulam, local villages are the biggest stakeholders. Since the power plant is in their backyard, their consent is required” said Ms. Raina.
The state increased police presence in advance of commissioning of the 2,000 megawatt Koodankulam nuclear plant. The plant was expected to be commissioned late last year but was delayed due to protests. Fukushima catastrophe intensified the fear of the locals who have been protesting since 1988. (2)
The protestors are now seeking Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms. Jayalalithaa to intervene in the matter and address the concerns raised by the protestors before the plant is commissioned. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had earlier supported the struggle by halting construction work until all the concerns are addressed. However, due to pressure from the center, Jayalalithaa had to take back her resolution and allow the work to proceed. (3)
The local expert committee is concerned that the site is prone to tsunami and that no proper research has been carried out to assess the geological features of the site. “The government's crackdown will protect the profits and business interests of foreign companies instead of the rights of its own citizens” concluded Ms. Raina.
For more information contact:
Hozefa Merchant, Media Officer, Greenpeace India, +91 9819592410,
Karuna Raina, Nuclear Campaigner, Greenpeace India, +91 9650111955,
Notes to the editor:
1- Lathicharge: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Kudankulam-nuclear-plant-Police-lathicharge-protesters/articleshow/16334669.cms