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India: Suspend work at Koodankulam, talk to protesters, urge concerned citizens

15 September 2012

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September 15, 2012

The movement against the Koodankulam nuclear power project in Tamil Nadu has entered a new phase with a Jal-satyagraha following the repressive police action of September 10.

More than 120 eminent citizens from different walks of life have signed the following statement expressing solidarity with the protesters, and calling for serious engagement with them on vital issues of safety.

The signatories include former Chief of Naval Staff L Ramdas, former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian and former Planning Commission member SP Shukla, former Atomic Energy Regulatory Board chairman A Gopalakrishnan, former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court AP Shah, former Ambassador to the United Nations Nirupam Sen, scientists PM Bhargava, D Balasubramaniam, Satyajit Rath, MV Ramana and Suvrat Raju, social scientists Romila Thapar, Sumit and Tanika Sarkar, Rajeev Bhargav, Amit Bhaduri, Manoranjan Mohanty, Gyanendra Pandey, Achin Vanaik and Zoya Hasan, writers Adil Jussawalla, Arundhati Roy and Arvind Krishna Mehrotraq, dancer Leela Samson, artists Ghulam Shaikh, SG Vasudev, Vivan Sundaram and Sheba Chhachhi, and many other scholars and social activists such as Vandana Shiva, Aruna Roy and Ashish Kothari.

The full list of signatories appears at the bottom.

In view of the public importance of the issue, could you please carry the statement in full in your paper, channel or wire service? Publication of the entire list of signatories on your website would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,

Praful Bidwai

Concerned Citizens’ Statement on Koodankulam

We are appalled at the police repression unleashed against people protesting peacefully against the Koodankulam nuclear plant. The repression has forced them to take to a jal-satyagraha.

Their legitimate, and as-yet-unaddressed, concerns about the plant’s safety were heightened by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board’s recent admission that it has not implemented the recommendations of its own review committee, including revision of safety parameters, and installation of backup freshwater and power sources. No emergency-evacuation drill was conducted as mandated, in a 16-kilometre radius, prior to fuel-loading.

The government has refused to disclose pertinent information, including the Site Evaluation and Safety Analysis Reports, nuclear-waste management plans, and the agreement indemnifying the Russian supplier against accidents, which mocks the absolute liability principle. These documents need to be discussed publicly and at least with the people affected by the plant.

Instead, the government is accusing the protesters of sedition, and the protest of being “foreign”- inspired, despite an absence of evidence. This is part of a profoundly undemocratic pattern, recently increasing, of demonising dissent, dismissing people’s concerns about hazards, and brutally repressing protests.

We urge the government to suspend work at Koodankulam and engage directly and democratically with the concerns of the people who live in the vicinity, so that if the plant is to proceed it has their acceptance.

1. A.K.Ramakrishnan
2. Abhishek Shrivastava
3. Achin vanaik
4. Adil Jassuwala
5. Aditya Nigam
6. Admiral L. Ramdas
7. Ajay Skaria
8. Amarjeet S Narang
9. Amit Sengupta
10. Amita Baviskar
11. Ammu Joseph
12. Amrita Chhachhi
13. Anand Patwardhan
14. Anandhi S
15. Anita Dubey
16. Anna George
17. Antony Arulraj
18. Arun Patnaik
19. Aruna Rodrigues
20. Aruna Roy
21. Arvid Ghosh
22. Asad Bin Saif
23. Ashish Kothari
24. Ashok Dube
25. Asit Das
26. Bablu Ganguly
27. Beena Sarwar
28. C P Chandrashekhar
29. Capt. J. Rama Rao
30. Cheran Rudhramoorthy
31. Chitranjan Singh
32. D N Jha
33. D. Balasubramanian
34. Darryl D’Monte
35. David Ludden
36. Dilip D’Souza
37. Dinesh Abrol
38. Dolphy Dsouza
39. Dunu Roy
40. EAS Sarma
41. G. Arunima
42. Garga Chatterjee
43. Geeta Seshu
44. Geetanjali Shree
45. Gopalarishnan
46. Gulam Mohammad Sheikh
47. Gyanendra Pandey
48. Hanan Sabea
49. Harsh Kapoor
50. Jairus Banaji
51. Jean Dreze
52. Jitendra Chahar
53. Jyoti Punwani
54. K Babu Rao
55. K. Ashok Rao
56. Kamal Kant Jaswal
57. Kamal Mitra Chenoy
58. Kamayani Bali Mahabal
59. Kamla Bhasin
60. Kavita Krishnan
61. Lalita Ramdas
62. Lawrence Surendra
63. Leela Samson
64. M V Ramana
65. Mahtab Alam
66. Manasi Pingle
67. Manoranjan Mohanty
68. Mary E. John
69. Mohan Rao
70. Mookhi Amir Ali
71. Nandan Maluste
72. Nandini Sunder
73. Naresh Dadhich
74. Neeladri Bhattacharya
75. Neeraj Jain
76. Neeta Deshpande
77. Nikhil Desai
78. Nikhil Dey
79. Nirupam Sen
80. Nivedita Menon
81. Noorjehan Safia Niaz
82. P M Bhargava
83. Prashant Bhushan
84. Pushpa Achanta
85. Rabin Chakraborty
86. Rafeeq Ellias
87. Rajeev Bhargav
88. Rajeev Suman
89. Rajni Bakshi
90. Ravi Hemadri
91. Ritu Kumar
92. Rohini Hensman
93. S P Shukla
94. S. K. Biswas
95. S.G. Vasudev
96. Sameera Khan
97. Sandeep Pandey
98. Sandhya Srinivasan
99. Sannybhai
100. Santanu Chakraverti
101. Saraswati Kavula
102. Satinath Choudhary
103. Satish Deshpandey
104. Satya Sivaraman
105. Satyajit Rath
106. Shabnam Hashmi
107. Shailesh Gandhi
108. Sheeba Chhachhi
109. Shree Prakash
110. Soumya Dutta
111. Subash Mohapatra
112. Sudhir Chandra
113. Sukla Sen
114. Sumit Sarkar
115. Suresh Khairnar
116. Suvrat Raju
117. Tajeev Suman
118. Tani Bhargav
119. Tanika Sarkar
120. TSR Subramanian
121. Uma Chakravarty
122. Uzramma
123. V. Prakash
124. Vaishali Patil
125. Vandana Shiva
126. Venu Madhav Govindu
127. Viren Lobo
128. Vivek Sundara
129. Walter Fernandes
130. Wilfred D’Souza
131. Xavier Jeyaraj SJ
132. Zoya Hasan