Kolkata protest against PM comment on Kudankulam projectMarch 12th, 2012 - 7:34 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, March 12 (IANS) A group of Kolkata residents Monday held a 12-hour fast against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s comments on agitations centred around the Kudankulam nuclear power plant (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu and wrote to him demanding the scrapping of the project.
The prime minister, in an interview to Science magazine in February, reportedly blamed NGOs from the US and Scandinavia for fuelling protests against the nuclear plant.
“We appeal to you to desist from indulging in unfair utterances or actions against popular movements, including anti-nuclear agitations. We continue to hope that sagacity will prevail and you will act to uphold our constitutional rights and the democratic traditions of the country,” said the letter sent to the prime minister.
The letter was signed by protesters from the Paramanu Bidyut Birodhi Prachar Andolan (anti-nuclear power movement) and included scientists and policy makers.
Terming the freedom of citizens to oppose government decisions peacefully as a right enshrined in the constitution, the letter said: “Your comments and actions resulting from them, regarding the democratic and peaceful anti-KNPP satyagraha by the local populace, is a denial of this right.”
Claiming that the prime minister’s allegation over the protests was not backed by evidence, the letter said public declarations of the local protesters indicated that the movement was being supported through their own modest resources.
The protesters also slammed India’s decision to deny visa to Maya Kobayashi - resident of Fukushima in Japan - who had been invited by Greenpeace India to share her experiences with the people here.
They said such action “not only violates the principle of international goodwill, but is also a denial of our right to know”.
The fast comes a day after the Fukushima Day - being observed to express sympathy with those who suffered from the meltdowns at the reactors of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant.
They also expressed solidarity with the agitators in Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu who have been holding relay fast outside the proposed plant for over 200 days.
Among the signatories to the letter are Sujoy Basu, ex-director, School of Energy Studies, Jadavpur University, Manoj Kumar Pal, former director of the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Meher Engineer, ex-director, Bose Institute, and Tushar Chakraborty, principal scientist of the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology.
“We are supporting the agitators of Kudankulam as we believe the nuclear power plant is not a solution to address energy problem of the country. It has ill-effects and people all over the world are saying no to nuclear power plants,” said Santanu Chakraborti, member of the movement.
To create awareness about the negative effects of nuclear radiation, the forum is organising campaigns in different institutions.
The campaign will continue till Chernobyl Day April 26, the day the worst nuclear power plant accident in world history happened in 1986 in Ukraine.
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