Kudankulam row: Activist Udaya Kumar ends fast

Tirunelveli: Anti-nuclear activists, spearheaded by SP Udaya Kumar, on Tuesday called off their 9-day- old fast launched by them after Tamil Nadu government gave the go-ahead for the controversial Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. Udaya Kumar’s decision came hours after a delegation of his supporters met senior district administration officials who assured them that their charter of demands would be conveyed to the government for consideration.

“The officials promised to look into the seven demands placed by PMANE (People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy). We hope that the officials will talk to the government and meet our demands,” Udaya Kumar, who was on fast along with his associate Pushparayan and some others, told reporters in Tirunelveli. Udaya Kumar broke the fast by accepting fruit juice offered to him by Madurai Bishop Peter Fernando.

Besides Fernando, the 13-member delegation which included Rimond, Arivavalavan held talks with Collector Selvaraj, DIG Varadaraju and other officials and presented their seven demands for withdrawing their fast. The Collector said he could withdraw prohibitory orders in all the areas except KNPP premises and had to convey their other demands to the government.

The protestors demanded immediate withdrawal of cases filed against them, recognition of their struggle against nuclear energy and withdrawal of prohibitory orders in Radhapuram taluk. Other demands are release of all those arrested for organising protests, training for people in 32 villages in disaster management, an ‘open and frank’ nuclear liability bill and explanation to locals on how safely nuclear waste would be disposed.

The anti-nuclear activists led by PMANE were on fast after Tamil Nadu government gave its go-ahead to the Indo-Russian nuclear project on March 19, clearing the decks for resumption of the work now in full swing. Udaya Kumar had on Monday said he was ready for talks with government provided cases against PMANE members were dropped.

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