September 13, 2011
The struggle against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) got a major boost on Sunday as leading activists, including Medha Patkar among others from National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) expressed their solidarity with the fasting agitators.
It may be noted that around 7,000 residents from coastal areas of Idinthakarai and other villages observed a massive hunger strike on Sunday at Idinthakarai. When the fast was on, news of support from Medha Patkar among others reached the agitators and it was treated with jubilation. The NAPM blog by afternoon posted a letter signed by Medha Patkar among other activists condemning the action by the local administration for trying to ruin the peaceful protests.
NAPM activists in the joint letter said that though people across the country are against nuclear plants like KKNPP, the government continues to harass and unleash violence on them. The letter also charged that KKNPP, which was having VVER type reactors were untested and hence unreliable. The leading activists also alleged that nuclear program like KKNPP had ‘little transparency, accountability and democratic decision-making’ and added that ‘nuclear business was easily one of the most corrupt sectors in India today’.
“We call for scrapping the Koodankulam nuclear power plants, and safeguard the rights to life and livelihood of our fisher people, farmers and Dalit workers. We affirm people’s right to resist..”, the concluding part of the letter read.
It may be noted that the letter was read out among the fasting agitators and the situation turned vibrant.
Following this totally unexpected support from NAPM, around 150 of 7000 people who observed hunger strike decided to observe indefinite fast demanding the closure of KKNPP.
Radhapuram DMDK MLA S Michael Rayappan visited Idinthakarai and assured that he is with the people and extended support for their struggle against KKNPP. “I have asked the Chief Minister to allot time for me to talk about KKNPP in the Assembly but no chance was given”, he is learnt to have said at the venue. The MLA has promised to raise the issue at the Assembly on Monday.