Violent protests rock Ratnagiri over death of anti-Jaitapur activist (Roundup)April 19th, 2011 - 10:31 pm ICT by IANS
Jaitapur (Maharashtra), April 19 (IANS) Hundreds of activists protesting the Jaitapur nuclear power project Tuesday blocked traffic and torched trucks and buses in different parts of Ratnagiri to protest the police firing a day ago in which one person was killed. The state government said it will probe the police firing but would go ahead with setting up of the 9,900 MW plant.
Meanwhile, the situation in different parts of Ratnagiri limped back to normalcy in the evening. The police clamped prohibitory orders under Sec. 144 of the Bombay Police Act that bans the assembly of more than five people.
The Shiv Sena-called shutdown Tuesday witnessed several violent incidents in different parts of the district.
Police kept enhanced vigil all over the district, including the headquarters, Ratnagiri, and sensitive villages like Madhban, Jaitapur and Sakre-Nate.
In a related development, Shirin, the widow of the the killed activist Tabrez Pehekar wrote to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan alleging that her husband was ‘murdered’ by the police.
“Shirin has said that Tabrez had sustained only a single bullet injury and was dumped in a police jeep to be taken to hospital. In the cramped jeep, four policemen sat, keeping their feet on him. Today’s autopsy report on Tabrez shows three bullet injuries. Shirin has alleged that he was shot two more times while being taken to hospital. It is murder by the police,” Jan Hit Seva Samiti president Pravin Gawankar told IANS in the evening.
The victim’s family, all engaged in the fishing trade, has also decided not to take possession of the body for the last rites till the state government suspends a sub-divisional officer Ajit Pawar, who ordered the police firing, and the Jaitapur project is cancelled, Gawankar said.
Terming the situation in Ratnagiri as “sensitive”, Gawankar claimed that anything can happen as the people were angry with the state government and the police.
Earlier in the day, some protesters pelted stones and ransacked the Ratnagiri Civil Hospital where Tabrez’s body was taken for autopsy.
Tabrez’s shocked and grieving family members and scores of activists had gathered outside the hospital amidst tight police security.
Gawankar said the autopsy was performed by a team of doctors without the permission of the family members, while the Shiv Sena had demanded that the autopsy should be videographed and conducted in the presence of human rights commission members.
Activists blocked the Ratnagiri-Kolhapur highway, torched several state transport buses and trucks attempting to ply during the shutdown and attacked the Ratnagiri Civil Hospital.
More than two thousand people took part in the demonstrations against the proposed 9,900-MW JNPP coming up in Jaitapur, around 375 km south of Mumbai.
With a cluster of six nuclear reactors, each with a capacity of 1,650-MW, the JNPP would be listed among the largest nuclear power projects in the world.
The Maharashtra government ordered a probe into Monday’s police firing in the area.
Home Minister R.R. Patil informed the state assembly that it would also probe whether the agitation against the plant was “politically motivated and a pre-planned conspiracy”. He also declared that the government was open to discussing ‘contentious issues’ and bring a solution.
“An enquiry shall also be conducted to ascertain if the violent protest at the JNPP site and the attacks on Nate Police Station were politically motivated or part of a pre-planned conspiracy,” a grim Patil said.
Terming as “unfortunate” the death due to the ‘avoidable’ police firing of Tabrez Pehekar, the minister assured compensation to his family members as well as those injured in the police firing.
At the same time, Patil declared that the government would go ahead with the JNPP which is fully financed by the central government.
“The state government is ready to clear all doubts and misunderstanding of the local people over the project. If required, we will provide enhanced compensation,” Patil said.
The JNPP issue and the ongoing protests rocked both houses of the state legislature here for the second day Tuesday with the opposition demanding scrapping of the project in view of the protests by the locals.
- Maharashtra vows to implement Jaitapur nuclear project - Apr 19, 2011
- Uneasy calm prevails in Ratnagiri amid tight security - Apr 20, 2011
- Jaitapur protester's family refuses to claim body - Apr 19, 2011
- One killed, seven injured as anti-Jaitapur protests turn violent - Apr 18, 2011
- Shutdown in Ratnagiri to protest killing, some violence - Apr 19, 2011
- Chavan has taken contract for Jaitapur project: Uddhav - Apr 29, 2011
- Uddhav Thackeray to meet killed Jaitapur protester's family - Apr 23, 2011
- Prove bribery allegation or quit, Bal Thackeray dares Chavan (Lead) - Apr 30, 2011
- Uddhav Thackeray visits Ratnagiri victim's family - Apr 25, 2011
- RLDF slams Shiv Sena for violence in anti-Jaitapur protests - Apr 22, 2011
- Shiv Sena firmly against Jaitapur nuclear project: Uddhav (Lead) - Apr 25, 2011
- Anti-nuke groups, Shiv Sena abort pro-Jaitpur meeting - Feb 26, 2012
- One dead, 8 hurt as anti-Jaitapur protest turns violent - Apr 18, 2011
- Court issues notice on suit challenging Jaitapur n-plant - Apr 12, 2012
- Shiv Sena got Rs.5 bn to oppose Jaitapur: Narayan Rane - Apr 21, 2011
Tags: ajit pawar, autopsy report, chief minister, district police, divisional officer, last rites, maharashtra, normalcy, nuclear power project, police act, police jeep, policemen, prithviraj, ratnagiri, related development, shiv sena, state government, vigil, violent incidents, violent protests