Kudankulam blast: Locals blame ‘refugees’ from other village

Kudankulam blast

The bomb blast which killed six persons at a tsunami rehabilitation colony in Idinthakarai village, near the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, on Tuesday exposed the security lapses in the area. The compound wall of the power plant is just a kilometre away from the blast site.

Earlier in the day, Tirun-elveli (rural) SP Vijayendra Bidari said a case would be registered against People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) leaders S P Udaya-kumar, Pushparayan and four others. But, the plan was dropped later.

By evening, the police had registered a case against Vijaya, a polytechnic student who was seriously injured in the blast. The FIR also named Yahappan and Susaimaria, who were both killed in the blast. While they were from Kuthenkuly village, 10 km from the Kudankulam plant, a woman and two children who were also killed were from Idinthakarai village.

Site director R S Sunder refused to comment on the blast. "It is a police matter. Let the board of directors of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited look into the issue," he said. The blast reportedly occurred when the miscreants were making bombs.

This part of the Tamil Nadu coast has seen frequent stand-offs between sand mining firms and local people. Recently, the mining firms had managed to win over a section of fishermen in Kuthenkuly.

In March this year, a boy was killed in Kuthenkuly in a clash between those supporting mining and those opposing it. Many fishermen and their families, who were opposed to mining, were later driven away from their village. Some of them sought asylum in the vacant houses in the tsunami rehabilitation colony in Idinthakarai. The persons who have been named in the FIR belong to this group of fishermen from Kuthenkuly.

Udayakumar said the Idinthakarai village committee had received information about these "refugees" making bombs. The committee had passed a resolution and asked them to leave the colony.

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