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Kudankulam stir: Fishermen block Tuticorin port

BS Reporter  |  Chennai 

Protest against Kudankulam nuclear power plant (KNPP) gained more support today when fishermen from Tuticorin and Kanyakumari districts joined their counterparts in their agitation against the plant. Fishermen ventured into the sea in the morning in hundreds of fishing boats to block ships coming in and going out of the Tuticorin port. Both port sources and representatives from the protesters have confirmed it.

Around 3,000 fishermen and anti-nuclear activists from Tuticorin, about 100 km from Kudankulam in neighbouring Tirunelveli district, and elsewhere came in mechanised and country boats and blocked the entry channel for nearly two hours, port officials said.

After blocking the port's approach channel, fishermen started heading back to their village.

The new wave of protests was launched in response to commencement of uranium filling in the reactors at KNPP.

Despite Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan’s appeal against resorting to such a protest, which would affect the export-import trade, protesters went ahead. The port has made elaborate security arrangements to make sure the fishermen do not enter the port.

The protest was called by the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), which is spearheading the agitation at Idinthakarai village, near KNPP.

On Friday, protesters announced they would siege the port since uranium filling in the reactors started on Wednesday. After the completion of process for 15 days, the plant will go through criticality test followed by power production. The protesters have also said that on September 25 they would siege all Central government offices in the state and on September 27 called for a high-level seminar-cum-meeting at Idinthakarai.

First Published: Sun, September 23 2012. 00:15 IST