Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday appealed to people not to fall prey to the "designs" of anti-nuclear lobbyists and defended the police action, in which one fisherman was killed during protests in Tuticorin against the Kudankulam atomic power project.
Jayalalithaa, who reviewed the situation following violence during the anti-nuclear agitation, slammed the protestors saying it was not proper on their part to try to stall works even after the Madras high court's nod for the project.
Holding that the plant posed no threat to the livelihood of local fishermen, she appealed to them not to fall prey to the designs of protestors "who have a general anti-nuclear stand."
She also appealed to those who oppose the project, which is very safe, to help in its early commissioning.
She said police were forced to take action on being provoked in Monday's incidents in Tirunelvei and Tuticorin districts.
Jayalalithaa said a mob tried to set on fire a temporary police post at Manappadu in Tuticorin and a policeman opened fire in self-defence in which one person was killed.
Expressing her sympathies with the deceased, she announced a relief of Rs. 5 lakh to the family of the victim.
In Tirunelveli, police asked the protestors to disperse citing the prohibitory orders but an increased number of them tried to march towards the power plant and started attacking policemen with logs, injuring some of them.
To protect themselves and the power plant and prevent possible harm to general public in the case of the plant coming under attack, police lobbed tear-gas shells as they did have no other option, she said.