Even as the first unit at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) is progressing to generate 500 MW of electricity, the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) feels that the villagers in the neighbouring areas have not lost their steam.
“It is true that the plant has started the fission process. But that does not mean the people have accepted the power plant or that support for the protest has gone down. If only the administration does not hinder free flow of vehicles then you will see the large number of people gathering here as it used to be during the initial days of the protest,” PMANE co-ordinator S. P. Udayakumar told IANS on the phone from Idinthakarai in the vicinity of the nuclear power plant from where the protest is being directed.
Even Indian and foreign accredited journalists were not allowed to enter Idinthakarai village in Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from here. Recently two journalists from Delhi – one Indian and one foreign – from a German radio station were denied permission to meet PMANE members.
Mr. Udayakumar said people are protesting against the setting up of a nuclear power plant in a non-violent way for the past two years but cases have been registered against them for sedition in a country that got its freedom by similar protests against the colonial British rulers.
“More than 325 cases, including around 20 cases of sedition and waging war against the country have been registered against the protestors. The morale of the people is still high and we are getting support from unexpected quarters,” he added.