Next phase of stir on Jan 2: anti-KNPP agitators

Nagercoil (TN): Anti-Koodankulam activists today said they would commence their next phase of protest if the Centre did not address safety concerns of the locals besides other demands. If the Centre did not satisfy the anti-KNPP agitators` demands, the People`s Movement of Nuclear Energy, spearheading the stir, would decide the mode of next phase of agitation on January 2," S P Udayakumar, PMANE convenor, said.

He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s comments in Russia (that the first unit in the KNPP would be operationalised in a couple of weeks) had created anxiety. At the same time, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had requested that the fears of the local population over safety concerns be allayed before taking `any precipitate` action, he told reporters after a one-day conference at Kovalam, organised by PMANE demanding scrapping of the plant. MDMK leader Nanjil Sambath said if any attempt was made to arrest anti-KNPP agitators, then they would resort to road roko in coastal areas between Thuthoor in Kanyakumari to Pazhaverkaadu in Thiruvallur district.

Meanwhile, a parallel conference in support of the KNPP was held at Nagercoil by the All India Congress Labour Front and pro-Koodankulam project supporters. The three-day conference was inaugurated by former Union Minister E V K S Elangovan. The local people in Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu`s Tirunelveli district have been agitating since September last demanding scrapping of the Indo-Russian project raising safety concerns following the Fukushima disaster in Japan early this year. Countering the protests against KNPP, some other activists have been demanding commissioning of the first reactor in the plant.