India

Stop Harassing Koodankulam Activists

Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNPD) and Indian Social Action Forum on Monday released a statement signed by several eminent citizens urging government to stop harassing the activists who are protesting construction of the nuclear power plant in Koodankulam.

They have asked the government to drop concocted charges against them, and instead to resume dialogue. 

PK Sundaram of CNPD also announced ‘Koodankulam Chalo rally’ on March 15 where people from across the country will be urged to visit the proposed site and see the truth themselves.

 

Please find below the complete statement:

We are dismayed and pained at the government’s campaign of vilification of the sustained popular movement against the Koodankulam nuclear plant, which has raised vital issues of atomic safety. These issues have assumed pivotal importance worldwide after the Fukushima disaster, the world’s first multiple-reactor meltdown. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has trivialised the movement, and the five months-long relay fast by thousands of people, by attributing it to “the foreign hand”, or Western non-governmental organisations, without citing even remotely credible evidence.

This is part of a growing, dangerous, tendency to delegitimise dissent. If we reduce genuine differences and disagreements with official positions to mere plots of “subversion” by “the foreign hand”, there can be no real engagement with ideas, and no democratic debate through which divergences can be reconciled. Absence of debate on nuclear safety, itself a life-and-death matter, can only impoverish the public discourse and our democracy. The “foreign hand” charge sounds especially bizarre because the government has staked all on installing foreign-origin reactors and tried to dilute the nuclear liability Act under foreign pressure. 

The claim that all is well with our expansion-oriented nuclear power programme sounds hollow in the absence of an independent, thorough, transparent review by a broadly representative body, which includes non-Department of Atomic Energy personnel and civil society representatives. Some of us called for this 10 months ago. But the government ignored our plea.  Its attitude to nuclear hazards is worrisome given its abysmal and persistent failure to protect Indian citizens’ lives and rights in the Bhopal gas disaster.

We urge the government to cease harassment and persecution of activists of the anti-nuclear movements in Koodankulam and other sites, to drop concocted charges against them, and instead to resume dialogue. Until people’s fears and concerns are allayed, all nuclear power-plant construction must be halted. There must be no use of force—categorically, and regardless of the circumstances. Ramming nuclear plants down the throats of unwilling people will usher in a police state. 

A Gopalakrishnan

Abdul Raheem TM

Abhay Vir Singh

Ajay Kumar

Ajay Patnaik

Ajaya Kumar Singh, Bhubaneshwar

Alaka Basu

Ali Javed

Amar Jesani, Editor, Indian Journal of Medical Ethics

Amartya Paul

Amit Bhaduri

Amita Baviskar

Ammu Joseph

Anuradha Chenoy

Arun Mitra

Aruna Rodrigues, Bangalore

Arundhati Roy

B K Pal

B N Thakur

Bindu Desai

Capt. J. Rama Rao, Hyderabad

Chaitali Bhowmick

D Sucharitha

Deepa Dhanraj

Deepak Nayyar

Dinesh Abrol

Dipankar Gupta

DR. EAS Sharma, 

Elisa Morsicain

Gabriele Dietrich, NAPM

Gargi Chakravorthy

Gauhar Raza, New Delhi

Harsh Mander, 

Himanshu Thakkar

Imrana Qadeer

Janaki Nair

Jaya Mehta

Jayati Ghosh

Justice B G Kolse-Patil

Justice H. Suresh

Kamal Mitra Chenoy,

Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Advocate, Mumbai

Kumkum Roy

L S Chawla

Lakshmi Kutty

Lata Mani, Bengaluru

M G Devasahayam

M V Ramana 

Maj Gen. S G Vombatkere

Malobika

Mary John

Meenakshi Ganguly, Human Rights Watch

Meha Dixit

Meher Engineer, Kolkata

Mili Sahu

Minati Panda

Mira Shiva

Moggallan Bharti

Mohan Rao

Muhammaed Muhassin

Mukul Kesavan

Mukul Sharma

Nabita Baruah

Nandini Gooptu

Nandini Sundar

Navroze Contractor

Neeladri Bhattacharya

Nirupam Sen

P M Bharagava

Pijush Kanti Das, Secretary General, Committee on People’s and Environment, Silchar

Pooja Ravi

Prashant Bhushan, New Delhi

Pratihar Sharma

Rajaneesh S R

Rajesh Tandon

Ram Manohan Reddy

Ramchandra Guha

Ramila Bisht

Rupa Chawdhary

S Alok Kumar

S N Malakar

S P Shukla

Sankar Narayan, Bhubaneswar

Seema Mustafa, Journalist, New Delhi

Shabnam Hashmi, New Delhi

Shankar Sharma, Mulubagilu, Karnataka

Shripad Dharmadhikari

Shruti Dubey

Shruti Jain

Soumya Rajan

Sudhir Chella Rajan, IIT Madras

Sumit Sarkar

Supriya Varma

Susan Visvanathan

Suvrat Raju

Swathi S Senan

Tanika Sarkar

Uma V Chandru, Member, PUCL, Bangalore

Umasankar Behera

V K Yadavendu

V.N.Sharma, Jharkhand Vigyan Manch

Vineet Tiwari

Vineeta Bal, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi

Vinod Koshti

Vivek Sundara, HRA, Mumbai

Zoya Hasan

(Courtesy: Pratirodh)

 

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