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India – Anti-nuke protesters appear before court

Updated: August 19, 2015 05:48 IST

  • Special Correspondent
Anti-nuclear protesters (from right) Rajalingam, Rev. Fr. M.P. Jesuraj and S.P. Udayakumar coming out of Valliyoor Judicial Magistrate Court on Tuesday.— Photo: A. SHAIKMOHIDEEN

A total of 100 anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) protesters appeared before a court at Valliyoor on Tuesday in connection with nine criminal cases filed against them for the anti-nuclear agitations.

Though summons had been served to 105 people, requiring them to appear before the court on Tuesday, 100 of them from Kooththenkuzhi, Idinthakarai, Koodankulam and Perumanal appeared before the court, while petitions were filed on behalf of the five others. Judicial Magistrate Ruskin Raj posted some of the cases to October 20 and the remaining to October 27 for further hearing.

Kudankulam police registered 380 cases against thousands of anti-nuclear protesters when Idinthakarai-based anti-KKNPP agitation was so intense. When a case challenging the permission granted to the upcoming nuclear park came up for hearing in the Supreme Court in May 2014, the apex court instructed the trial court concerned (the Judicial Magistrate Court at Valliyoor) to decide on the fate of 132 criminal cases registered in connection with “serious crimes committed by the protesters” while 248 cases were withdrawn.

Of the 132 cases, charge sheet has been filed in the Judicial Magistrate Court at Valliyoor in 33 cases and the court issued summons to 105 persons in nine of these cases. Subsequently, the police started issuing the summons requiring the accused to appear before the trial court. While a few of them received one summons, most of them received as many as eight summons asking all of them appear before the court on Tuesday.

Anti-nuclear protesters M. Pushparayan, Rev. Fr. Jayakumar, Fr. M.P. Jesuraj, R.S. Muhilan, S.P. Udayakumar and others appeared before the court.

“Since a portion of the spent fuel is being removed from the first reactor of the KKNPP and it would be kept on the same premises, people living in the nearby villagers are in a state of shock and fear. Hence, it is expected that the anti-nuclear protests would become intense once again. Against this backdrop, the State government, by expediting the trial of the criminal cases filed against the protesters, is attempting to stifle the ongoing agitation. We’ll approach higher courts to quash all these cases,” said Mr. Udayakumar, convener of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), after appearing before the court.

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