Nuke protesters form chain at sea

Having failed to lay siege to the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) on Monday, anti-nuke activists formed a human chain at sea on Thursday, demanding that the fuel loading process be stopped at the plant.
Around 2,000 men, women and children who formed the human chain off the shore at Idinthakarai, near the St Xavier’s church, seem to have been inspired by the success of the Jala sathyagraha of villagers in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh against the move to increase the height of the Omkareshwar dam.
The activists tied themselves to choir chains with balloon buoys to make sure they were not pushed deeper into the sea and the children who formed part of the human chain, were given life jackets for safety.
Coast Guard patrolling vessels, the ICGS Veera and ICGS Naikidevi from the Thoothukudi Coast Guard Station and a Dornier aircraft of the Chennai Coast Guard Station, kept a close eye on the agitators who found their presence intimidating.
But an officer of the Thoothukudi station claimed they were there for the security of the agitators. Around 800 policemen were also deployed at the Tsunami Colony, around a kilometre from the scene of the protest, and personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) kept an eye on the agitators from watch towers in the grounds of the nuclear plant. The people of the nearby coastal villages of Koothanguli and Perumanal who were not allowed to enter Idinthakarai, formed human chains at sea off the shores of their own villages.
The fishermen said the success of the agitation at sea should make the government realise that it could not put a stop to it by merely arresting leaders like S.P. Udayakumar.
Fr M.P. Jesuraj, who led the protest at sea, said the demonstration would continue every day between 10 am and 4 pm as the Supreme Court had refused to stay the fuel loading process at the plant. He demanded that all cases registered against the anti-nuke activists be withdrawn, men and women arrested for previous protests against the nuclear plant be released and those injured in the police lathicharge at the Idinthakarai beach on Monday be paid compensation.

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