Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project protests spread to Chennai

Anti KNPP

Police had also resorted to lathicharge and firing of teargas shells yesterday as the seashore in Indinthakarai village turned into a battlefield with clashes between protesters and police.

Slamming the police action, PMANE had yesterday launched a 48-hour relay fast against it.

A cameraperson of an English TV channel allegedly suffered injuries on the forehead during the melee in the police action. Channel authorities said a complaint has been lodged at the police station.

Tirunelveli DSP V Bidari promised strong action by identifying the personnel involved in the alleged assault on the cameraperson.

Expressing solidarity with the protesters and condemning the police action, fishermen in southern districts are staying away from fishing today.

Situation in neighbouring districts is normal, according to police.

The anti-KNPP protest took a new turn when PMANE gave the call for a siege of the plant as a last-ditch effort to stall the Indo-Russian project after regulatory authorities gave their clearance for loading the uranium fuel in the first of the two reactors.

Around 4,000 security personnel, including Rapid Action Force, have been deployed in the area.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has defended the police action and appealed to people not to fall prey to the "designs" of anti-nuclear lobbyists and to maintain calm.

The first unit of KNPP was scheduled for commissioning in December last, but ran into trouble with locals demanding its scrapping on safety concerns.

Asked about reports of four PMANE leaders, including Udhayakumar and Pushparayan, planning to surrender by turning up at the Kudankulam Police Station, Bidari said police are searching for them and they would be taken into custody anytime.

They had instigated the violence, he said.

There has been no untoward incidents today, he said,adding, additional police personnel have been deployed.

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