Tension at KNPP again

Giving a novel twist to their prolonged agitation against the KNPP, fishermen in over 300 boats from Idinthakarai, the venue of the protestors’ relay fast, and other nearby coastal hamlets like Koothakuli and Perumanal, put out to sea with black flags and shouted slogans from the Bay of Bengal waters demanding the plant’s immediate closure.

After surfing the sea with black flags for quite a while, the boat-protesters at one stage came dangerously close to the “dyke” constructed by the KNPP, the intake point for taking the seawater to be used for cooling the condensers in the plant, sources from Kudankulam said over the phone.

It was a “near security breach” as fishermen have been advised to keep off the 500-metre perimeter from the dyke for safety and security reasons, sources said. The development jolted the KNPP authorities.

Even as women from the fisher-folk families joined the protests on shore, additional police reinforcements was rushed to the narrow beach stretches behind the nuclear plant area to avert anyone advancing towards the complex from the sea-front, sources said.

This is the second serious incident in the last three days after villagers opposing the KNPP, on Saturday stopped buses of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited at Chettikulam, south of the plant area.

The “People’s movement” against the KNPP and nuclear energy will convene a meeting in Chennai on November 27 where the forum’s group of expert advisers will discuss the Central team’s report.

They will also try to broad-base their agitation by enlisting the support of political party leaders and “intellectuals” across the country and then decide their future course of action, he added.

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