The second wave of protests against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant entered the fifth day on Thursday and acquired forceful overtones with the agitators, who had so far resorted to fasts, blocking roads to the plant site.
The protesters’ blockade prevented nearly 700 of the 1,000-strong scientific workforce and 5,000 contractual workers from entering the plant in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelvelli district, around 650 km south of Chennai. The Centre frowned on the mode of protest even as chief minister J Jayalalithaa assured support to the protesters. She said the safety concerns of locals was paramount.
Jayalalithaa said she was yet to receive Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s letter, which cautioned delay in implementing the project would impact Tamil Nadu’s progress.
The protests are concentrated at Idinthakarai village, 2 km from the plant site. The protesters, fearful of a nuclear accident like the Fukushima disaster in Japan in March, want work on the Indo-Russian project stopped immediately. MoS V Narayanasamy said the blockade was not peaceful.