German journalist detained, let off

Tirunelveli, Oct 31 : Police detained a German journalist and his Indian woman translator for several hours when they illegally entered the high-security Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) complex at Koodankulam village in the Southern district of Tirunelveli last night.

However, police later let them off. Police said they took Weiland Wagner, a journalist with German Magazene 'Der Spiegel' and his Indian woman translator Shikakar to the Koodankulam police station, last evening after the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel guarding the nuclear complex detained the duo at the second gate. Wagner told the police that he entered into the KKNPP complex to take an interview of KKNPP officials. Senior police officials interrogated him for nearly five hours.

When his intention was proved, he was let off late in the night with an advice that he should not enter into KKNPP. Wagner had allegedly attempted to attack local media men, when they took his photograph after released by the police. However, police intervened and pacified the media men, who agitated Wagner's highhandedness. Earlier, Wagner visited Idinthakarai village - the hub of ongoing anti-nuclear protest and interviewed the local people and key leaders of Peoples' Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), which is spearheading the anti-nuclear protests.

More This was the third incident of a foreign national being prevented from entering Koodankulam and Idinthakarai villages by the police. Three Japanese anti-nuclear activists, Masahiro Watarida, Shinsuke Nakai and Yoko Unoda of "No Nukes Asia Forum, Japan" who tried to visit Koodankulam to express their solidarity with the locals were deported back home on September 25.

The Visa of a German national Sonnteg Reiner Hermann was cancelled and was deported on the charges of funding the anti-nuclear protestors during February. Noted Australian documentary film maker and two-time Oscar nominee David Bradbury and his family was detained by the police at Idinthakarai, when they attempted to meet the protestors on October 26. Bradbury, a five-time winner of American Film Institute (AFI) awards has produced many celebrated documentary films, including "A Hard Rain," that explores the "other side" of nuclear debate.

The multi-crore KKNPP, India's largest Civil nuclear programme being built with Russian collaboration was at the midst of controversy and world community's attention, following stiff resistance from the locals, aftermath Fukushima nuclear tragedy in Japan.

- Agencies

Published On : Oct 31, 2012