The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) calls off the planned event at Idinthakarai on May 10, 2012 as the District authorities have clamped down prohibitory orders such as 144 in and around Koodankulam area. The citizens’ right to assemble cannot and must not be construed as a siege and this fundamental right must be respected and honored. We would also like to record the fact that we have not inflicted any violence on anybody in any of our protests or agitations for the past nine months. So the authorities have nothing to fear or worry. In the light of the recent development, however, we have requested the people from all the coastal and interior villages to organize “a day of prayer and fasting” today in their respective churches and temples.
There has been an error in the count of Voter ID Cards that have been submitted by people. Cards are still pouring in from all different villages in Tirunelveli district and other places in Tamil Nadu. We are yet to take the final count of the cards and submit them to the authorities when the tense situation in our area subsides.
Most of the men and women participating in the indefinite hunger strike are very weak and losing weight. Some of them are suffering from heat stroke and dehydration. We take them to the local hospital as the government medical team does not come anymore. Instead of taking the lives of these people seriously, the local Radhapuram Tahsildar is throwing bureaucratic hurdles such as asking us to call the District Collector for continued medical assistance. We have a group of volunteers to help the strikers and a team of local reporters to monitor and report the developments on a continuous basis. The PMANE would like to record here that the central and state governments will be held responsible if anything happens to any of the indefinite hunger strikers.
We have always been ready and willing to talk to the authorities as we believe in democracy and dialogue. In that spirit, we have given our list of demands to them. But the state government officials are interested only to talk about the false cases they have foisted on us and not about other substantive Koodankulam plant-related issues. The state authorities claim that those issues are in the realm of the central government. On the contrary, the issue of organizing disaster management trainings and evacuation exercises, passing resolution to safeguard the local water resources, respecting the people’s right to protest peacefully and nonviolently can all be addressed by the state government.
The central and state governments have not invited us for any talks so far and they are keen to get us arrested and abort the entire struggle. The Indian democracy and the fundamental freedoms of our people are all at stake here. The spirit of India is being systematically stifled by the nuclear Merchants of Venice.
And finally, the PMANE would also like to demand an independent enquiry on the blast that had occurred at the Koodankulam nuclear power plant on May 4, 2012 in which a few men were badly injured.