Idinthakarai, Tamil Nadu Oct 29: Even as the anti-Nuclear protestors attempted to lay as siege to the State secretariat, hundreds of people observed 'Jal Satyagraha,' a novel protest by standing in the Sea, demanding the Centre to scrap the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) at Idinthakarai coastal village - the hub of anti-nuclear protest, today.
The protestors, including women and children waded into the Sea, braving the strong waves this noon, in a desperate attempt to show their ire. While men were seen standing in waist deep water, women and children were standing on the shore raising slogans against the Central and State governments. S.P.Udhaya Kumar, M.Pushparayan, M.P.Jesurajan, the key activists' of Peoples' Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE),a Civil group spearheading the ongoing struggle against KKKNPP also took part in the stir. Safety ropes have been used from the coast to the waist-deep sea waters to prevent the protestors being swept away by the waves.
Some of the protestors were seen wearing life jackets. Despite repeated requests from the revenue authorities and police officials the protestors refused to withdraw their stir. They were demanding among other things to scraping of the nuclear project, not to arrest anti-nuclear activists and to withdraw cases registered against them, provide suitable compensation for the affected victims, and withdrawal of police from the villages. Meanwhile, the fishermen of Southern districts of Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari kept off the sea,today to express their solidarity with the anti-nuclear protest.
The multi-Crore Indo-Russian joint venture - KKNPP, India's largest Civil Nuclear Programme was at the midst of controversy, following stiff resistance from the locals. The first unit of the 2X1000 MW VVER nuclear reactor is expected to go critical before end of this year.