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Archives for : Koodankulam

Koodankulam Alert 22 nd March 2012

Idinthakarai Update March 22, 2012

The situation here is still grim. There are some 10,000 people from coastal and interior villages. Most of them are women including pregnant women and nursing women.
I myself saw many nursing women feeding their babied sweetened water as there was no milk coming to the village. More people are coming by boats and on foot as the access roads are all blocked by police. There is no bus service to this place.
There is no sanitary complex and women bear the brunt of it. No public health official has ever come to help the people.

Some 15 of us have been on indefinite hunger strike and no medical doctor has ever come here to check our health. The Dinamalam newspaper has reported today that we have all been eating heartily and pretending to be fasting. If this anti-Tamil
newspaper can prove that there is a trace of food in my or Pushparayan’sstomach, we are ready to leave this protest. Otherwise, will they stop publishing this stupid paper? We are fighting for a cause not prostituting our soul like
the Dinamalam does.

On March 21,my mother had received a phone call from one advocate by the name T. Udayakumar and he claimed he was calling from the DGP office in Chennai. He asked my mother to ask me to leave the protest so that all the cases against me would be dropped and I would get whatever I ask for. My mother told him that I was not a man of that nature and ended the conversation. That evening the Superintendent of Police of Tirunelveli District called me on my mobile and asked me to
surrender alone so that people would not be affected. I told him that I was all ready for that but the people here at Idinthakarai also wanted to get arrested along with me and they would not let me go alone. I proposed to the SP to send enough number of buses and two police officers so that there would not be any stampede or tussle and we all would board the buses peacefully and go wherever they wanted us to go. He would not accept that proposition and said in anger: “This is the last time I talk to you.” There ended our conversation.

That night the police officer who was on security duty at our SACCER Matriculation School outside Nagercoil town had received a phone call from the Kanyakumari District SP office to go away from the school. Then a group of vandals, obviously with
the blessings of the police, had entered the school and destroyed it very badly. The compound wall was completely demolished and the gate damaged. They ransacked the school bus after tearing down the car shed’s iron shutters. They had entered the KG classrooms and destroyed all the small little chairs which my children were using to sit on. They had broken all the tables and chairs and I do not understand why they punished my little children like this. The vandals had entered our school library and destroyed all the 12 glass bookshelves and tables and threw away the books.

My 250 children are all avid readers and have been using our library extensively. This reminds me of the burning of the
Public Library at Jaffna a few years ago.

The governments and the police treat and speak of me as if I were Osama bin Laden and our people some mindless terrorists. We resent this inhuman and brutal treatment . Electricity, water, milk and other essentials have been cut for two days; people
cannot go out of and come into Idinthakarai as there is brutal police control. We are surrounded by police and I truly feel like I am at Mullivaickal.

We are a group of simple people who have been fighting nonviolently and democratically against an untested foreign reactor with all kinds of problems and hiccups. We have not done any harm to anybody or anybody’s property in our eight-month long
struggle. The whole country is proud of our people.

The stalemate continues. There are protests happening all over the country and the state of Tamil Nadu. Whoever is farsighted enough to worry about the future of India’s “ordinary citizens,” our natural resources, the well-being of our progeny, the possibility of losing our freedom to the New Nuclear East India Companies and most importantly, the democratic fabric of our country support us. We thank them and you for standing with us. We are ready for any brutal police action but will not give up our nonviolent noncooperation camp.

From: “S. P. Udayakumar”

 

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Solidarity statement for ANTI KKNPP activists- signed by 30 eminent citizens

In Solidarity

The state government of Tamil Nadu has finally succumbed to pressure by the Central government and decided to commission the operation of the two Russian built nuclear reactors in Koodankulam. It has carried out a major crackdown on the mass movement in and around Koodankulam in southern Tamil Nadu, outrageously slapping sedition charges — no less — on several people, and arresting close to 200 people in a pre-emptive show of intimidation and force.

Over the last six months in what has been the latest phase of a more than decade long struggle, tens of thousands of residents in and around Koodankulam have peacefully and non-violently demonstrated against the government’s nuclear power plans. They have demanded that their concerns over issues of safety, environmental hazards and procedural violations of the AERB (Atomic Energy Regulatory Board) be fully and properly addressed. That their livelihood and life concerns should have been so casually ignored by a government that has even resorted to allegations of ‘foreign manipulation’ of what is an indigenous mass movement is extremely disturbing.

We strongly condemn the repression launched against the people of Koodankulam and southern Tamil Nadu and demand that those arrested be immediately released. If a willingness to exercise one’s democratic right of protest in peaceful and non-violent ways, or to criticize the pursuit of nuclear energy, or even to oppose government plans in this regard is to be deemed seditious and warrants being arrested, then we the undersigned also declare ourselves to be as guilty as our fellow citizens in Tamil Nadu. We stand in solidarity with them. The government may please take note.

Admiral L. Ramdas (former Chief of the Indian Navy & Magsaysay Awardee)

Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat (former Chief of the Indian Navy)

Justice Rajender Sachar (former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court)

S.P. Shukla (former Finance Secretary, Government of India)

Romila Thapar (Professor Emeritus, Dept. of History, JNU)

Aruna Roy (Member, National Advisory Council and Magsaysay Awardee)

Medha Patkar (Social Activist)

Arundhati Roy (Writer)

Sandeep Pandey (Social Activist and Magsaysay Awardee)

Ramchandra Guha (Historian and Professor, London School of Economics)

Rammanohar Reddy (Editor, Economic and Political Weekly)

Justice P.B. Sawant (former Judge of Supreme Court)

Justice B.G. Kolse-Patil (former Judge of the Bombay High Court)

Binayak Sen (Member, Planning Commission)

Ilina Sen (Professor, MG International University, Wardha)

Lalita Ramdas (former Chairperson, Greenpeace International)

Praful Bidwai (Independent Journalist and Professor, Council for Social Development)

Jean Dreze (Professor, G B Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad)

Kamal Mitra Chenoy (Professor, School of International Studies, JNU)

Anuradha Chenoy, (Professor, School of International Studies, JNU)

Surendra Gadekar (Social Activist)

Vasanth Kannabiran, (Founder & Head, Asmita Resouce Centre for Women, Hyderabad)

Ritu Menon (Founder Publisher, Women Unlimited)

Pamela Philipose (Director, Women’s Feature Service)

Rohan D’Souza (Assistant Professor, Centre for Studies in Science Policy, JNU)

Darryl D’Monte (former Resident Editor, The Times of India)

Soumya Datta (Scientist & Activist)

Lawrence Surendra (Founder Director of the Asian Regional Exchange for New Alternatives, South Korea)

Achin Vanaik (Former Dean of Social Science, University of Delhi)

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National media prevented from covering anti-nuclear protest in Tamil Nadu

Reporters Without Borders condemns police obstruction of national print and broadcast media today in Idinthakarai, a fishing village in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, where the authorities are trying to remove entrenched anti-nuclear protesters from their camp beside the Koodankulam nuclear power station.

“It is always disturbing to see the authorities establish a perimeter and deny access to the media, even temporarily, for reasons other than their security,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Installing police barricades and ordering the police not to let the media through is unacceptable. We urge the Tamil Nadu government to modify the orders and allow journalists full access.

“The authorities must not try to use security as pretext for restricting media coverage of a peaceful anti-nuclear demonstration that contributes to the debate on a subject of public interest. A continuing media presence will also help to dispel any concern about the way the police could be treating the demonstrators.”

Police prevented journalists with NDTV, Times Now, Times of India and other national media from entering the fishing village at 7 a.m. today.

After initially saying they had orders from their high command to deny access to all journalists, the police manning the barricades allowed print and video reporters through. But, according to the Madras Press Club, they continued to deny access to TV mobile broadcasting trucks on the grounds that live reports would just exacerbate the situation.

However, when reached by telephone by reporters outside the village, the head of the Tamil Nadu police denied giving any such orders and, according to the latest information obtained by Reporters Without Borders, TV trucks were finally allowed into the village.

The Tamil Nadu government launched its operation against the Koodankulam protesters at the start of the week. Led by the People’s Movement against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), the protesters have been camped for more five months beside the power station, which is supposed to start operating soon.

Demonstrators have been denied access to the protest site, including by sea, since 19 March. They say that journalists have also been denied access since 19 March and that some journalists have been forced to leave the protest site.

Freedom of information has deteriorated significantly of late in India, which was ranked 131st out of 179 countries in the 2011-2012 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

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Koodankulam: This Orgy of Intimidation and Vandalism Must End !

Here is the story in Meera Udaykumar’s own words.Her school was vandalised yesterday.

Lalita Ramdas

When Meera Udaykumar finally got home after a long and stressful day – and at my urging, she finally sent me the photographs you will see in this message.

Her day began early with a phone call telling her that her school had been attacked and vandalised by unknown miscreants. Perhaps I was among the first few to get the news directly from her before setting out to inspect the extent of the damage. I immediately called Nity in Chennai and asked if he could alert media. And a couple of hours later Meera called back, first of all to tell me the state of the school and the kind of damage inflicted. She also told me that NDTV had interviewed her for a few minutes and especially asked me to watch out for her message in which she has spoken directly to the people of Tamil Nadu, of India and the world – saying that these were non-violent and peaceful protestors – their only demand was for renewable energy – and no nuclear power plant. How does that make them anti-national or seditious? Why should children be made to suffer for no fault of their own?

But till now – 11pm on the night of the 21st march – NDTV has not carried her story.

We need to ask the question why? A phone call made to a senior NDTV executive in the afternoon by us from Alibag, brought forth a vague response about editorial decisions which were not in the control of anyone else.

Who is controlling these decisions and calling the shots? Why is the centre insecure about putting a woman like her onto the screen. Are they worried that her presence might evoke more sympathy rather than hardening public sentiment against those who are obstructing the Energy security of India?

Even to file a police report – FIR – she [Meera] had to wait for a couple of hours at the police station – and even so, the SI refused to meet her – and finally told her to leave the papers at the police station without even a receipt.

Looks like it is harassment at every step.

The images enclosed herewith show the deliberate damage inflicted on the buildings, the equipment, the school van, the library, the water pipes, the precious books, tables, chairs and blackboards – not to mention plants and the compound wall.

We would not even deal with our enemies the way we seem to be dealing with people who have sacrificed careers and comfort to come home and work for the most needy. Uday Kumar, Pushparayan, the thousands of strong and courageous women , men and children who are collectively exhibiting a leadership and peaceful non-co-operation out of which this country and our people achieved our freedom and won the admiration of the world. It is tragic indeed that the once proud nation has descended to this – exemplified by the attitude of the `official spokesperson’ of the Congress party on NDTV earlier this evening.

Hope some sense will prevail – that our leaders and the Atomic Energy Establishment they think they control will miraculously have the courage to show both courage and humility to say, yes, we need to re-examine and go back to the drawing boards to make sure the checks and balances the people are asking for can be implemented.

Meanwhile, just spoken to friends in Koodankulam – the time is 1130pm

Accounts of people present vary from 10000 to 15000.

They want to be together , and they came by road, and rickshaw, by boats and cross country. All the boats or `fibres’ from several villages are now anchored off Koodankulam – this is a non violent fleet and does not carry guns.

But the papers and others are speaking of reinforcements of the paramilitary, of tear gas and armoured vehicles moving in. Of repeated flag marches intended to intimidate.

Supplies of water and milk have been blockaded by the police.

Police are apparently harassing the residents of Koodankulam by banging on doors in the middle of the night – and stopping people unnecessarily for questioning.

The leadership and the people are sworn to non-violence – but who can tell what spark can set off violence. There is tension everywhere they tell us….

And the PIL filed in the High Court in Chennai today rightly demands a lifting of section 144, and restoration of normalcy – especially to ensure the right to food and security of 856 primary school children , of another 715 kids below the age of five; then another 946 kids at the Idinthakarai primary school, and 462 at Kuthenkuly – not to mention a number of old people.

So, we would like to ask the honourable Chief Minister if this is what she was told to do by using the Iron Fist? And how will she ever be able to fulfil her promise to the people of Tamil Nadu that she has their interests close to her heart?

I told our friends in Idinthakarai – sleep well – and I said the same to Meera – but the words sounded hollow to my own ears ….we are uneasy tonight – and will be awaiting the midnight call and the midnight swoop down – except this is not a film, but a reality in this our largest democracy………

Lalita Ramdas in village Bhaimala

Read all news of protest at Dianuke

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Koodankulam Update March 21, 2012

10:00 AM

Electricity, Water and Food Supply stopped in Idinthakarai

All roads and sea routes to reach Idinthakarai are blocked. Police personnel forcibly took away mobiles phones and water supply equipments.

School run by Dr. S P Udayakumar damaged badly last night. School bus is also damaged.

There are 8000 children among the 20,000 protesting people in Idinthakarai. Milk supply to the village is also prevented and its affecting the children badly.

Media entry to Idinthakarai is also prevented.

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Call for One Day Fast in support of Kudankulam Struggle on March 23

Dear All,

We have received a number of endorsements for the proposal to organise a ONE DAY TOKEN FAST on MARCH 23, which also happens to be the Martyrdom Day of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru. Medha Patkar and her colleagues at a meeting in Delhi have endorsed this proposal, Arati Chokshy and several activists from Bangalore have also agreed to organise a fast, Sundaram of CNDP is in Kerala and will try to organise, he also informed that many small Tamil parties are organising a protest in Tirunelveli on that day, in which a few MLAs and MPs are expected to join. So it is a good beginning…

This is therefore to call on you to

ORGANISE A DAY-LONG FAST on March 23, Friday, Martyrdom Day of Shahid Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru

in support of the HEROIC STRUGGLE OF THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH TAMIL NADU against the Kudankulam NPP.

I am pasting below the final letter to the Tamil Nadu CM that has been endorsed by so many activists from all over the country. You may use it as you wish, extract from it, or send it to the media in your city, or use it for a pamphlet, etc.

To: The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu

To: The Media

Dear Ms. Chief Minister:

It is with profound sadness and anxiety that we read your press statement and witnessed the large scale mobilisation of police in the areas around the Idinthakarai protest site and the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant. The decision to give the go-ahead to the power plant is ill-informed and has created a dangerously volatile situation. We, the below-signed, condemn the deployment of thousands of armed policemen in an area where people have been peacefully protesting for six months. Knowing the resolve of the agitating communities, the Government’s hard-line stance and police posturing can only lead to a nuclear Nandigram.

Sincerely,
signed by 164 activists from all over the country .

PL SIGN ONLINE PETITION HERE AND SHARE WIDELY

 

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PUCL condemns the unprovoked arrests if the ANTI-KKNPP ACTIVISTS

PEOPLE’S UNION FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES– TAMIL NADU AND PUDUCHERRY

Hussaina Manzil, III Floor, 255 (old No. 123) Angappa Naicken Street, Chennai 600 001.

Phone: 91-44- 25352459

President: Dr. V. Suresh General Secretary: S. Balamurugan

94442-31497 94432-13501

19 /03/ 2012

To

The Chief Reporter FOR FAVOUR OF PUBLICATION

PUCL CONDEMNS THE UNPROVOKED ARRESTS OF THE ANTI-KKNPP ACTIVISTS

Sir/Madam,

PUCL, TAMIL NADU-PUDUCHERRY strongly condemns the arbitrary and illegal exercise of police repression by the Tamil Nadu State Government against peacefully demonstrating local protestors in Koodankulam today, 19.3.2012. What exposes the deceitful move of the State Government is the fact that the State Government which had been conducting discussions with the protesting villagers, did not even bother to inform the public about its final decision ; while so, the Tamil Nadu State Government moved in more than 5,000 armed police early this morning encircling Idinthakrai and neighbouring villages. The operation resembled a military action of `encirclement and suppression’ and was wholly an unnecessary show of police might against peaceful, unarmed demonstrators.

The Police action against idinthakrai villagers resembles the Jalianwalabagh incident and raises concern about the true intention of the State Government’s action coming immediately after the Sankarankovil bye-elections. The least the State Government could have done is to take the Koodankulam and Idinthakarai villagers into confidence and engage in democratic discussions. Such Police action is wholly unwarranted and is meant to intimidate local villagers and citizens.

We condemn the State Government’s dishonest police crackdown as an act of democratic betrayal without parallel.

We condemn the illegal arrest of villagers as also the arrest of Sivasubramaniam, Advocate and Rajalingam at the struggle committee office which was set up near the plant with the concurrence and approval of the District Collector and the State government aothers. PUCL demands immediate and unconditional release of all arrested villagers. PUCL also demands immediate withdrawal of Police force from the area. PUCL also calls upon the state government to resume dialogue with the villagers and desist from using force and unleashing repression.

With Regards,

(Dr. V. Suresh)

National Secretary.

—————————————–

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Koodankulam – Update and Alert

English: Internationally recognized symbol. De...

Image via Wikipedia

Some 10 people including Struggle Committee members Adv. S. Sivasubramanian, Rajalingom from Koodankulam have been arrested.

The Tamil Nadu State government is increasing the police strength in front of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP). Heavy police force has been posted in a few major junctions around Koodankulam. The ADGP (Additional Director
General of Police) three DIGs (Deputy Inspector Generals) and ten SPs (Superintendents of Police) are present at Koodankulam. The Tirunelveli District Collector has been inviting us (specifically five people, S.P. Udayakumar, M. Pushparayan,M.P. Jesuraj, S. Sivasubramanian, and Fr. F. Jayakumar) since last evening to get some clarifications on the petition we had given to the Chief Minister on February 29, 2012. We pointed out that only our experts could answer those questions. It is pertinent to note that no attempt has been made so far to talk to them by the central or state governments or the expert teams constituted by
these governments. In the meantime, the State government’s cabinet is meeting at 12:30 PM and they are expected to announce their stand on the KKNPP issue.

There are rumors that we all could be arrested soon and they may decide to re-start the KKNPP. WE ARE READY! We have a few specific issues we want you to know about though:

[1] The Government of India, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL), and the KKNPP have not conducted any emergency preparation drills or evacuation exercises to prepare the people
within 30 km radius for any possible nuclear disasters. If these authorities try to load nuclear fuel rods without doing these mandatory exercises, it would be deemed illegal by India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) rules, IAEA’s
and other international stipulations. These authorities should reveal to the world the complete and exhaustive details of these exercises if they had conducted them. The date, time, place, location, and the names of the participants of all these exercises should be revealed by these authorities in concurrence with the District Collector of Tirunelveli.

[2] The Government of India and the State Government of Tamil Nadu should consult our experts and study their findings with the help of Indian and international experts if they care for the lives of Indian citizens and not for the profits of Russian corporations.

[3] If the KKNPP reactors are the best in the whole world, why doesn’t Russia want to give any liability to the people? Why do they sign a secretive IGA (Inter-Governmental Agreement) with the Government of India and hide behind such moves and avoid the whole issue of liability?

The tension is increasing; the government are acting in a high-handed manner. Please keep an eye on us.

S. P.Udayakumar
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy

____________________________________________
S.P. Udayakumar, Ph.D.
* People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
* National Alliance of Anti-nuclear Movements (NAAM)
(For a Nuclear-Free India that has
No Deals, No Mines, No Reactors, No Dumps, and No Bombs)
Mobile: 91-98656-83735
Email: [email protected], spudayakumar@gmail.com

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE- Fukushima Nuclear Disaster- Lessons for India

English: Internationally recognized symbol. De...

Image via Wikipedia

PUCL-Bangalore Press Release

10/3/12

FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR DISASTER: LESSONS FOR INDIA

On March 11, exactly one year ago, a huge nuclear disaster in human history occurred at Fukushima , such that three nuclear reactors in the Fukushima Daichii plant experienced a nuclear core meltdown. The associated series of hydrogen explosions in the plant released more than twenty times the radioactive radiation of the Hiroshima bomb, causing contamination of air, water, soil, all living and non-living matter. The real cost to human health and life are expected to show up in a few years.

While several western countries, including Japan, have responded to public pressure and plan to halt or phase out their nuclear programs, the Indian government’s response has been to insist that the technology is ‘fully safe’ and to continue with its massive nuclear expansion.

In observing the Fukushima anniversary, PUCL and partners express solidarity with the victims of the nuclear disaster and hope to reach out to fellow citizens to address critically the necessity of India’s nuclear program. The speakers invited to seminar spoke on a variety of issues related to resolving people’s growing nuclear trust-deficit with India’s projected growing need in the energy and power sectors.

Nagesh Hedge emphasized the hazardous nature of the entire nuclear cycle from uranium mining, processing and disposal of the nuclear waste. His arguments hit home when he spoke of the issues of uranium mining coming up at Gogi in Yadgir, on the Bhima river basin; the limited ore supply, if extracted, will destroy the environment, water systems, and cause extensive human damage, while providing for about 7 months of fuel for India’s projected future nuclear program. He spoke also of the large scale and growing public opposition to this project, and also to the proposed building units 5 and 6 at Kaiga.

Shankar Sharma, a power policy analyst, spoke on the need for conservation efforts, limiting transmission losses and the enormous potential of renewable energy initiatives. In states like Tamil Nadu, conversion from incandescent to CFL bulbs can save about 500 MW – which would be the State’s expected share from the Koodankulam nuclear plant, after accounting for losses! Transmission losses in our country are 24% compared to about 5% in developed nations. India’s current nuclear capability is only 2.4% of our total power budget – thus a saving in transmission losses is tantamount to producing, immediately, ten times more power than what we get from our nuclear sector – without any risk.

YB Ramakrishna, noted that renewables and alternatives were not only available, but can provide for India’s burgeoning energy needs using a variety of sources including, solar, bio-fuels, hydro etc. He also gave inspiring examples of successful implementation of distributed renewable energy schemes, including biomass.

VT Padmanabhan spoke of several grave and technical concerns associated with the Koodankulam Nuclear plant, such as the seismic instability of the region, and the dependence of KNPP’s fresh water supply for cooling from a desalination plant. None of these safety concerns were satisfactorily addressed by the expert panel appointed by the central govt.

Prof. Atul Chokshi, IISc, presented calculations showing that for India to meet its long-term projected nuclear aspirations would require a nuclear reactor every eleven kilometers along nation’s shoreline. Equivalent energy was possible from a distributed roof-top solar panel system over all households providing distributed, equitable power for our population – without transmission losses or risks!

The Fukushima anniversary provided a poignant reminder of the potential dangers of catastrophic nuclear accidents. The seminar demonstrated several potential strategies to provide for India’s energy needs, so that there are several viable alternatives to nuclear power
———–

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Save Indian Democracy: OCCUPY Koodankulam

It’s a call from the other India that has become ‘foreign’ to our Prime Minister. A sustainably living community has refused to be part of the profit-driven system and is struggling against the mighty state for last 25 years. We must come out and support them.

Branding people’s struggles ‘foreign’ and repressing our own people has become the hallmark of this government that is undermining our democracy.

Reach Koodankulam on your own. This spontaneous march to Koodankulam is to save our democracy, our people and our ecology. Be part of it.

Koodankulam is on of the Village in Radhapuram Taluk , Tirunelveli District , Tamil Nadu State . Koodankulam is located 50.6 km distance from its District Main City Tirunelveli . It is located 602 km distance from its State Main City Chennai .

You can reach Kudankulam by flying down to Trivandrum or Madurai, and then driving down to Kudankulam. Since there will be many of us, we can coordinate and take a common vehicle, which we shall arrange. So do let us know where you plan to come, and we will do the coordination. Trivandrum is more well connected by air, so that might be more convenient.

Or you can come by train, via Chennai or Bangalore, to Kanyakumari/Nagercoil.

For further details about the protest and the routes, contact:

P K Sundaram, New Delhi (9810556134, [email protected])
Lalita Ramdas, Alibagh ([email protected])
Neeraj Jain, Pune (09422220311, [email protected])
Sajeer Rehman, Kalikut (09447218282, [email protected])
Muthu Krishnan, Madurai (09443477353, [email protected])
Anivar Aravind, Bangalore (09448063780, [email protected])

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