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The Sound Of Death In Koodankulam

By Anitha S

27 November, 2013

Row over sand mining triggered K-town blast

By Express News Service

Six persons died and three others sustained injuries as country bombs kept in a house went off at Tsunami Nagar in Idinthakarai near Koodankulam on Tuesday evening.

Tsunami Nagar was established to rehabilitate people who were affected by the tsunami that ravaged the coastal areas in 2004. The hamlet is situated between Idinthakarai and Koodankulam plant. According to police, enmity prevailed between two groups in the village over illegal mining of beach sand from coastal areas.

Some families from Kuthenkuly, a nearby hamlet, who were opposed to beach mineral sand mining, were residing in Tsunami Nagar. There were frequent fights between the two groups residing at different places including Idinthakarai and Tsunami Nagar. Police sources said that bombs were kept in a house where a family from Kuthenkuly was residing.

Fire service personnel led by District Fire Officer Padmakumar and police led by DIG Sumith Saran and Tirunelveli SP Vijayendra S Bidari rushed to the spot and started rescue operations. Padmakumar said Fire and Rescue Services personnel were continuing their search. Bidari said the blast had no connection with the ongoing protest against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP). The protest which completed two years, is led by the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), with active support from the residents of Idinthakarai village


Photos by Amirthraj Stephen

We in the Idintahkarai village of Thirunelveli district are wondering what the sound of death is. In September 2012 when the police burst upon our village with tear gas and lathis, we thought the sound of death was that of boots. When the Coast guard helicopter flew low on us as we stood in the sea and killed our brother Sahayam, we felt the real voice of death is the whirring of the wings. When dear Roslaine died after months of suffering from the fatal ailment gnawing her in the Trichy jail without proper treatment, we thought the sound of death is her slow difficult breathing.

Now we have heard it again. Last evening the Tsunami Village in Idinthakarai was slowing its daily life pulse.Wind blew in through the Poovarasu trees as children set aside their bags and homework. The courtyards and paths were deserted as women and men slowly moved into the house. . The house of Sahayam too was preparing for the night. Inside the house were 3 lives eager to have dinner and sleep . We do not know what were the thoughts of 14 year old Sona. She must have been thinking of the lessons she had learnt for the next day. Her sister 12 year Subiksha might have been thinking about the walk to the school with friends and the small fights and skirmishes. Would she have been smiling with such girlish thoughts? Litte Tepikson with all the earnestness of the thousand odd days since he was born would have been thinking of cuddling up to his mother's warm body and sleeping. How would we know what the thoughts and dreams of 3 children growing up by the seashore in the comfort of a home were? We would never ever know because the children are gone forever. Last evening the sound of death came to us in the form of a bomb blast. Not knowing to even utter the word bomb or even seeing such a man made destructive tool, the children have become the victims of a senseless massacre.

Amidst all the speculations and confusions about the bomb blast in our village that has taken away 6 lives, we in Idinthakarai wish to tell the world one simple fact. We are not bomb makers or perpetrators of violence. If we were we could have done it many years ago when we were more stronger and determined than now. We who have been resisting the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant for many years have not hurled a stone, burnt a bus or killed any one. Inspite of being on the verge of losing the land and sea that sustain us, the health and life of our children and women, we have not abused or opposed this injustice violently. We have not lied or cheated though we have had to listen to lies and get cheated by many.

We have learnt the real meaning of democracy and justice by being part of the movement against Nuclear Energy and Power Plants. We have chosen the path of peace and non-violence after much thought because we are convinced that the power of passive resistance will win. We know the pain and sorrow of implanting the greatest bomb of all that of fear and suspicion in human mind. That we know will divide us and cause strife and confusion. This bomb that burst on our lives last evening has been made and used to destroy our confidence and morale. To make us suspect our own neighbors and friends. To prevent us from coming together for a common cause- in this case the movement we have built up against the biggest enemy in our life- the 2 yellow domes.

We, in Idinthakarai are determined that our dedication to truth and justice will show us the right path to a safe and calm life. We have survived many onslaughts in the past because we questioned the development program that we know will not bring peace and health to the world. Though this bomb has taken away many precious lives and created disarray in our simple lives, we are sure that the bomb of distrust can never be made in our minds. We want all of you to place trust and faith in us, our small and simple lives with our children by the sea. We want the peace and serenity of Idintakarai and Tsunami village to be reinstated as fast as possible. We want our children to sit fearless in the verandah of our homes with breeze from the sea blowing over them . We do not want the sound of death to burst on us anymore ever. We do not want to be blamed and hanged for crimes we have not done. We have only stood for life and peace, happiness and health, for access to livelihood and resources.

Anitha.S in conversation with Melrit and Tamizh , Amritraj Stephen from Idintakarai village on 26 th and 27 th November, 2013 and reading Express News. Photos by Amirthraj Stephen




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