Anti-nuclear demonstrators gathered on Sunday evening at Dadar’s Chaityabhoomi along with National Award-winning filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, activist Dr Binayak Sen and his wife Ilina, and members of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace, Konkan Vinashakari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti, and Konkan Bachao Andolan Priyar Dravidar Kazhagam. They were protesting against the controversial nuclear reactor project in Koodankulam, Tamil Nadu.
The activists raised slogans such as “Nuclear power plant nahin chaiye”, “Jhutha vikas nahi chalega” and “Manmohan Singh Japan jao, Japan jaa kesushi khao.”
They appealed to the citizens of India to protest against the nuclear reactor, and safeguard the lives, dignity, resources and livelihoods of the people of Koodankulam.
Addressing the gathering, Patwardhan said, “People in Idinthakarai village had to end their 14-day fast this week. It is appalling that nobody from the Tamil Nadu or central government came to speak to them, and that the police strength in the area has been identified with every possible intimidating tactic, including taking away the food ration cards of agitating villagers.”
Dr Binayak Sen appealed to passersby to pay heed to the testimonies of independent experts and scientists highlighting the dangers of constructing the reactor. “At this critical juncture, we urge that a wider consultation is necessary before continuing the large-scale nuclear expansion that this government is already deeply engaged in,” he said.
Bringing the protest to a close, Ilina, Sen’s wife, said that the outright repression and silencing of the Koodankulam people’s movement wouldhave adverse implications for all future individual and collective struggles.