Fishermen lathi-charged at Kalpakkam nuclear plant

Agitators demand better basic facilities

At least 10 fishermen from coastal villages in the vicinity of the Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) at Kalpakkam were seriously injured on Tuesday as police used lathi-charge to disperse a  crowd near the N-Plant to press their demands.

The fishermen in villages like Pudupattinam, close to Kalpakkam, were demanding better basic facilities including access to the hospital inside the nuclear power plant at a concessional fee, admissions to their wards in the school run by MAPS and uninterrupted power supply to the hamlets nearby. Tension gripped the area as some miscreants smashed a bus belonging to the MAPS used for in-plant transportation of the employees.

Even as the fishermen sought to lay siege to the N-plant, police asked them to leave the area when some miscreants threw stones at the policemen on duty there. Then, police resorted to a lathi-charge to disperse the mob. Police also rounded up scores of protesters of another nearby village who sought to block the MAPS employees from entering the plant through the rear gate on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, leaders of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), led by anti-nuke activist SP Udyakumar, who are protesting against the nuclear power plant coming up at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district down South, have expressed solidarity with the protesting fishermen at Kalpakkam. They  have announced an agitation against the alleged police excess there.

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