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Anti-nuke protests: Demonstrations in Chennai

Chennai , Tue, 25 Sep 2012 ANI

Chennai, Sept 25 (ANI): Anti-nuke protests in the region have intensified, with activists staging a demonstration outside a government building here on Tuesday.

Protesting against loading of fuel at the contentious Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, the protestors raised slogans against the government, and accused it of adopting "anti-people" policies.

"We feel that this is government's continuous apathy against people's wellness and continuous anti-people policy. Recently, we have seen FDI approval in media and retail sector. Everything shows government's anti-people policy, and this is one of such things. We are against this kind of attitude of the government," Parimalam, one of the protestors, said.

They also demanded the withdrawal of security forces that have been deployed in the villages surrounding the plant after the protests turned violent earlier this month.

The stir against the Kudankulam plant has intensified of late, even as the villagers and activists are being treated to teargas shells and cane charge.

The protestors have, in past resorted to hunger strikes and formation of human chains in the Indian Ocean to prevent the opening of the plant.

The Kudankulam plant, the first nuclear project nearing completion after the Fukushima disaster, will provide two gigawatts of electricity-enough to power millions of Indian homes and relieve a power crisis in Tamil Nadu.

Some countries like Germany have decided to turn away from nuclear energy and the international community is keenly watching how India handles the rising opposition to the project.

First conceived in 1988, Russian-built Kudankulam was supposed to have gone into operation last year, but protesters surrounded the compound after an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, causing radiation leaks and forcing mass evacuations.

The protesters fear a similar accident could happen in south India, a region that was hard hit by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. (ANI)

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