Tamil Nadu government and Central government have unleashed barbaric fascist violence on the lakhs of people of southern districts of Tamil Nadu who are fighting to stop the commissioning of nuclear power plant at Koodankulam. Every type of fascist machinery in stock with the government have been unleashed against the fighting people – deployment of thousands of police and para-military forces, firing and killing of the peaceful and unarmed protesters, teargas firing, lathi charge, continuous promulgation of curfew under CrPc 144 in all the surrounding areas curtailing people’s movement and rights, etc. In the barbaric firing and violence unleashed by the police forces on Sep 11, 2012, as of now, a fisherman had died and hundreds of people seriously injured.
In support of the people fighting against the Atomic plant, fishermen and others went on strike and various forms of protest in Kanyakumari, Tuticorin, Tirunelveli, Rameswaram, Coimbature, Pondichery, Chennai and all over Tamil Nadu. In order to black out their barbaric attacks, police is also attacking the news reporters. People of all strata all over Tamil Nadu were shocked and angered by the violence unleashed by the government. Students, Lawyers and general public, various parties and people’s organizations all over Tamil Nadu are taking up various protest actions against the terrorist attacks of the government. Makkalatchi Iyakkam (Lokraj Sangathan) vehemently condemns the AIDMK and Congress governments for rejecting demands of the vast majority of people and unleashing barbaric fascist attacks and police firing on the unarmed people in order to open the nuclear plant.
People living near the nuclear plant have been opposing commissioning of nuclear plant on various grounds such as doubts over the safety of the nuclear plant, loss of livelihood, fear of displacement, terrible impact on the environment, etc. Both the central and state governments have ignored these genuine concerns of the people and have callously ordered their security forces to stifle the voices of dissent. Refusing to listen to the just demands of the people, High court and supreme courts have also declared verdict in support of the commissioning of the nuclear plant.
There has never been an Environmental Impact Assessment done for this nuclear power plant. Nor any Public Hearing with project affected people. Authorities also refuse to share the Site Evaluation and Safety Analysis Report with the people. They did not carryout any safety drill for the people of the region for any nuclear accidents and they are refusing to do it. Authorities are also refusing to answer the queries of the people regarding handling of nuclear waste from the plant. Above all, government is refusing to listen to the voice of the people who are demanding to stop this project.
In the Bhopal gas tragedy, which took place in 1984, it is estimated that more than 10,000 people were killed and 550,000 people were injured. To this day, those affected by the horrible tragedy are yet to receive adequate compensation and they have been left to fend for themselves. Warren Anderson then chairman of Union Carbide which was responsible for the disaster, was allowed to leave the country scot free in connivance with the central and state government ministers and officials. Since then several disasters have taken place and the people have had the same bitter experience. So, why should the people of Koodanulam now believe the assurances of the government that their interests have been taken care of in the construction of the plant?
Struggles against the construction of nuclear plants and other large projects have been going on in many other places as well such as in Jaitapur in Maharashtra, Kaiga in Karnataka, Gorakhpur in Haryana, Posco in Odisha and so on. In many areas of India, nuclear plants, construction projects, steel plants, SEZs, etc are being foisted on the people in the name of development, without any regard to their livelihood and safety. In many places, people are being forcibly deprived of their land in the name of “public purpose”. People are fighting to ensure that Progress is meant for the people and not giving up people’s interest for the benefit of profits of big corporate houses. They are also demanding decision-making powers in their own hands.
We strongly condemn the Tamil Nadu government for using violence, police firing against the people fighting at Koodankulam, Idinthakarai and Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari and Tuticorin districts, killing of people, promulgation of curfew under CrPc 144 in all the surrounding areas curtailing people’s movement and democratic rights, deployment of thousands of police and para military forces, arresting leaders of the movement and thousands of protesters. These fascist measures very clearly expose that vast majority of people are opposing the decision of the government to open and operate the Nuclear power plant. Indian government’s measures also prove that the talk of Panchayat Raj, Power to the people and promoting of Indian democracy, etc. are blatant lies. If there were genuine democracy in India, instead of resorting to violence against its own citizens, abiding by the wishes of majority, government should have closed down the Koodankulam power plant and taken up projects which do not affect the people.
The present political system keeps people on the sidelines. Other than voting for this or that party of vested interests once in a few years, we have no other rights in this system. We remain helpless victims of decisions taken by big moneyed interests. Whichever party comes to power, in reality it is only the big money bags and monopolies rule the country. Congress, BJP, AIDMK, DMK, CPM like parties who serve their interests do not hesitate to use violence on the people demanding justice. Government’s approach to Koodankulam issue confirms that Parliamentary system in India does not represent people in any way. Representative organs, political process and Judiciary must serve the needs of the people and subordinate to them and they should not suppress and rule over them. Without changing such a political system, nothing is served by merely changing the political parties in power. There is very urgent need to create a political system with people at its center. Only such a system can meet all demands of Indian people and assure a bright future for them.
Condemn the government which fires on the fighting people and kills them!
Withdraw the barbaric curfew declared under CrPc section 144 and the deployment of security forces!
Immediately release all those arrested for fighting against the Nuclear power plant!
Denounce the fascist attacks of the government!
We, the people will decide the law and the projects!
Makkalatchi Iyakkam (Lokraj Sangathan), Chennai 11-Sep-2012