What seems like a temporary victory for those protesting against the proposed Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant, workers building the compound wall at the site have stopped work and fled the area.
Villagers also saw truckloads of machinery and JCB machines leave the premises on Thursday morning.
“Work will resume when the situation is back to normal,” said Ranjit Kakade, spokesperson, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited that is building the plant. “The atmosphere was not conducive to work there. Also, there is a holiday on account of Good Friday.”
The work has been suspended following Shiv Sena-led protests on Monday when over 200 people burnt equipment, machinery and dry grass.
In a related protest at the neighbouring village of Sakhri Nate, Tabrez Sayekar, 30, succumbed to three bullet injuries after the police opened firing at the villagers.
On Thursday, the Rajapur court gave magisterial custody to the remaining 10 locals and Sena legislator Rajan Salvi till April 26 along with 39 other villagers who have already been given judicial custody.
Meanwhile, high court judge, BG Kolse Patil, said he was requested to withdraw the Tarapur to Jaitapur yatra.
“The director general of police requested me to withdraw the yatra,” said Kolse Patil. “We have decided to carry on with it as planned in a non-violent manner. Let the police stop us.”
The yatra to be undertaken from Tarapur on April 23 by various social activists, environmentalists, academicians, retired judges and retired vice admirals, will end with a public meeting at Jaitapur on April 25, also the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that took place in Ukraine.
Post the yatra, villagers have decided to continue with the protest. “We will sit on a hunger strike,” said Pravin Gavankar, Madban resident and president of the Janhit Seva Samiti.