"Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee should drop a nuclear bomb on us if he wants to stop our movement. As long as we live, there will be no nuclear power plant in Haripur," said Lakshmi Panda, a fisherwoman spearheading the resistance against the proposed plant in coastal Midnapore.
There may be no evidence of resistance on the surface but Haripur is seething. Police action in Nandigram, 45 km away, has made residents here hostile. Tension mounted over rumours of a visit by a CID team on Friday, volunteers of the Haripur Paramanu Bidyut Prakalpa Partirodh Andolan, an organisation campaigning against the nuclear plant, have barricaded the fishing harbour of Junput, the gateway to Haripur.
Every vehicle is being searched and media persons are allowed only if they are cleared by local resistance leaders.
The protests have become stronger after the March 14 firing at Nandigram. Local residents are now ready to stake everything to ensure the Nuclear Power Corporation of India does set up its proposed plant.
District Magistrate Anoop Agarwal said: "So far, there is no instruction from the state government to acquire land for the nuclear power station at Haripur. If we receive a notice, we will take all political parties and farmers’ organisations into confidence."