April 23rd, 2012
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PMANE announces indefinite hunger strike from May 1

udayakumarChennai: The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) announced that it would resume an indefinite hunger strike from May 1 against the two 1,000 MW plants at Kudankulam. The anti-nuclear activists would resume their indefinite strike that was called off three weeks back.  PMANE co-ordinator SP Udayakumar and his supporters had on 28 March withdrawn from their nine-day-long indefinite hunger strike after a delegation led by the Tirunelveli Collector agreed to look into their demands.

However, as the Tamil Nadu government went back on their assurances the PMANE decided to resume their protest. “We have decided to go on hunger protest once again from May 1 onwards as the state government has gone against its assurances given to us. A large number of women will be participating in the hunger protest,” PMANE leader M Pushparayan said. “We earnestly hope that the Government of India and the Government of Tamil Nadu will resume the negotiations with us, fulfill their commitments and avoid the planned indefinite hunger strike,” he added.

The state government had agreed to release all PMANE protestors who were imprisoned. They had also promised to withdraw false cases slapped against them. “More than 56,000 people have been charged with false cases until Dec 31, 2011 including some 6,000 sedition cases. If we tally the cases that have been filed in the first quarter of 2012, the number must be way too high. This only proves how big our struggle is and how undemocratic and anti-people our governments are,” PMANE stated. “No step has been taken to withdraw all the false cases that are foisted on us; instead, fresh murder charges are framed against the leaders of the PMANE falsely,” the statement said.

The state government had agreed to institute an independent national committee to study the hydrology, geology and oceanography issues, conduct of disaster management and evacuation exercises to all the people in the 30 km radius from KNPP. They had also agreed to share a copy of the inter-governmental agreement between India and Russia (the reactor supplier) signed in 2008 on nuclear liability; divulge information on the nuclear waste and its management and respect people’s right to protest against the project in a democratic manner.

Though it has been almost a month since the activists withdrew their hunger strike the state government has not fulfilled a single promise made by them.


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