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Koodankulam: Police Forces Withdrawn But PMANE Vows To Fight On

By Jeemon Jacob

24 March, 2012

Security personnel stationed at Idinthakarai called back after Madras HC issues orders removal

Idinthakarai: The Tirunelveli district administration has decided to withdraw police forces from Koodankulam after the Madras high court ordered officials to reinstate supply of milk, water and power to Idinthakarai. However, leaders of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) insist that the struggle will continue.

“We welcome the government’s decision to withdraw the police forces. But they were forced to do it after the high court order. We will continue our struggle till they shut down the plant,” says PMANE leader Pushparayan Victoria, who is among those observing a hunger strike.

Earlier, the state government informed the high court that there were no oppressive measures or government-sponsored sanctions against those living in Idinthakarai, the epicentre of the anti-nuke struggle.

After the high court order, Tirunelveli District Collector R Selvaraj directed the police to withdraw its personnel. “We have scaled down the forces after reviewing the situation. We can position the forces within short notice in case of emergency,” Selvaraj told TEHELKA.

A government official told TEHELKA that the district administration was left with no choice after the high court order was issued. “We don’t want any negative publicity. If the high court strikes down Section 144 imposed in Radhapuram taluk, we will lose face,” said the official, on the condition of anonymity, adding that the media overplayed the issue and the court took serious note.

Meanwhile, PMANE leaders welcomed the decision of withdrawing the police forces. “We are not waging war against the government. It was the Tamil Nadu government which declared war on the people of Idinthakarai,” said PMANE convener SP Udayakumar. “If they have realised their mistake, we are happy. However, police offensive or repressive measures won’t kill our movement.”

Even though the police withdrew forces from strategic locations such as Vairavikinaru and Tsunami Colony, a small force is still stationed in front of the nuke plant.

Jeemon Jacob is Bureau Chief, South with Tehelka. Email: [email protected]

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