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.
Abdul Raheem TM
Abhay Vir Singh
Ajaya Kumar Singh, Bhubaneshwar
Amar Jesani, Editor, Indian Journal of Medical Ethics
Aruna Rodrigues, Bangalore
B K Pal
B N Thakur
Capt. J. Rama Rao, Hyderabad
DR. EAS Sharma,
Gabriele Dietrich, NAPM
Gauhar Raza, New Delhi
Justice B G Kolse-Patil
Justice H. Suresh
Kamal Mitra Chenoy,
Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Advocate, Mumbai
L S Chawla
Lata Mani, Bengaluru
M G Devasahayam
M V Ramana
Maj Gen. S G Vombatkere
Meenakshi Ganguly, Human Rights Watch
Meher Engineer, Kolkata
P M Bharagava
Pijush Kanti Das, Secretary General, Committee on People’s and Environment, Silchar
Prashant Bhushan, New Delhi
Rajaneesh S R
Ram Manohan Reddy
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
Sudhir Chella Rajan, IIT Madras
Swathi S Senan
Uma V Chandru, Member, PUCL, Bangalore
V K Yadavendu
V.N.Sharma, Jharkhand Vigyan Manch
Vineeta Bal, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi
Vivek Sundara, HRA, Mumbai