Anti- Kudankulam protests turn violent, police fire tear gas at protestors
Kudankulam (Tamil Nadu), Sept 10 Following their Sunday's attempt to lay siege at the site of the contentious Kudankulam nuclear power plant, the protesting activists tried the act on Monday, forcing the police to fire tear gas shells at them.
The anti- nuclear plant activists are demanding a halt to the loading of enriched uranium in the reactor.
Defying prohibitory orders, the protesters refused to disperse from the seashore, 500 metres away from the Kudankulam Nulcear Power project, despite repeated pleas by top police and district officials.
As the standoff continued, police brought in additional reinforcements while some protesters attempted to take the sea route to breach the tight security and reach the plant site, police said.
Police fired teargas and chased away the protesters, some of whom ran into the sea and shouted slogans against the police action.
Since Sunday, more than 1,000 anti-nuclear protesters led by the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy convener S. P. Udayakumar have been agitating at the seashore close to the plant, demanding Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's intervention to stop loading of fuel in the first reactor.
The area has come under a tight security blanket with over 2,000 police personnel, including 400 Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel on duty.
Prohibitory orders are in place in a seven-kilometer radius from the plant, seen as a last ditch attempt to prevent commissioning of the plant.
Regulatory authorities had recently given the go-ahead for loading the enriched uranium in the plant, whose commissioning was also given the nod by the Madras High Court.
The first unit of KNPP, an Indo-Russian joint venture, was scheduled for commissioning in December last, but was bogged down by delay due to protests against the project. (ANI)
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