Violence mars Kudankulam meet

Violence mars Kudankulam meet

The fourth round of talks between the Central and state teams to resolve the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) issue was adjourned on Tuesday after a violent altercation between pro and anti-nuclear plant activists in Tirunelveli town.

The vehicle carrying the anti-KNPP activists headed by S P Udayakumar was attacked with stones and chappals by angry volunteers of two other counter-protest groups favouring and seeking the early resumption of the 2,000 MW nuclear plant.

Shortly before the meeting between the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) nominated experts group and the state-appointed panel was to take place at the District Collector’s Office in Tirunelveli on Tuesday morning, violence broke out just outside the complex, police sources told Deccan Herald over the phone.

Even as the group including women fisher folks led by Udayakumar, whose two nominees are in the state government’s panel, appeared charged as they came for the meeting shouting slogans against the KNPP, two other pro-nuclear plant groups, who had also come to the venue to submit their petitions to the District Collector, felt deeply agitated by it, sources said.

The pro-KNPP groups provoked by some allegedly abusive slogans pelted stones and hurled chappals at the vehicles carrying Udayakumar’s group leading to a mild lathi-charge by the police. Police arrested 12 pro-nuclear plant activists who turned violent. Despite the standoff getting stiffer, Dr K Balu, a member of the Central group and former Director of the Nuclear Reactors Group, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), told Deccan Herald that they have submitted their “third supplementary report” to the state panel.

“We went through that in detail and have given all our replies,” he added.