CPI(M) and other parties, including scientists and activists, on Sunday came together to form a national committee to support the struggle against the Jaitapur nuclear project in Maharashtra.
A 15-member National Committee in Support of Jaitapur Struggle will have CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat, his CPI counterpart AB Bardhan, former Atomic Energy Regulatory Board chairman Dr A Gopalkrishnan and former Union finance secretary SP Shukla as members among others.
"The people of Jaitapur and the surrounding areas in Ratnagiri district have been struggling against the setting up of the giant nuclear project which will have six nuclear reactors bought from the French Areva company.
"This project has displaced farmers and mango orchards. The livelihood of thousands of fishermen are threatened," the CPI(M) said in a statement.
"There is a serious threat to ecology and environment of the region. The Areva EPR reactors have not been commissioned anywhere in the world, not even in France. They are prohibitively expensive and the technology is untried and untested," it said.
After the Fukushima disaster in Japan, it alleged, there are "serious concerns" about the safety and the health of the people in the region.
The popular protests in Ratnagiri district have been met with severe police repression and permanent restrictions on holding protests and false cases have been instituted on many activists, it alleged.
To extend support to the people's struggle in Jaitapur and to mobilise support all over the country to demand a halt to the Jaitapur project, the statement said, it has been decided to set-up a national committee.
The committee will organise a country-wide campaign against the Jaitapur nuclear project.
The other members of the committee include LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan, Sitaram Yechury of CPI(M), D Raja and Prakash Reddy of CPI, Nama Nageswara Rao of TDP, Danish Ali of JD(S), Vivek Monteiro of CITU, N D Patil of Peasants and Workers Party, Bhai Vaidya of Socialist Party (India), Pravin Gavankar of Janhit Seva Samiti, and Sulabha Brahme of Konkan Bachao Samiti.