Tuticorin: About 60 km away from ground zero, fishermen and villagers joined the protest against the nuclear plant in Kudankulam by laying siege to the port in Tuticorin here to demand immediate halt in fuel loading in the plant.
Fishermen deployed about 50 fishing boats to protest and block the entry to the port, reports said.
Fishermen said though the area is 60 km from Kudankulam they are protesting in solidarity and any nuclear catastrophe will affect them as well while the radiation can render their catch from the sea unfit for export to European market.
Fishermen said the plant can directly affect their livelihood.
Earlier, protesters opposing the upcoming Kudankulam nuclear plant had announced plans to hold demonstrations across the state coast and also lay siege to the the Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) harbour with fishing boats on Saturday.
The decision to protest in Tuticorin was taken following a meeting with community leaders of most of the fishing villages in Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Ramanathapuram districts, and village committees of Koothenkuli and Idinthakarai villages, the Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) , which is leading the protests, said.
Fishermen from other villages are also organizing boat rallies in their respective villages and women and children organized human chain.
The protesters appealed to all the supporters from all walks of life such as students, lawyers, women activists, trade unionists and others to lay siege to central government offices in their respective villages and towns.
The Supreme court meanwhile on Thursday told the government not to treat the petition seeking implementation of all safety steps before the commissioning of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) as an adversarial litigation since it concerns public interest.
PMANE has demanded halt in fuel loading in the plant which they claimed has begun.
Some media reports also confirmed that the plant has begun loading fuel.
“The PMANE Struggle Committee and the struggling people all over Tamil Nadu and the rest of India demand immediate cessation of the fuelling of the KKNPP [ Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project ] and convert it into a pro-people and pro-Nature energy project,” said the organization.
The protest against India’s largest nuclear power project at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu reached a flash point this month as the police and protesters clashed near the plant since Sept 10 while one person died in police firing in a neighbouring district.
The villagers and fishermen led by PMANE are protesting the plant fearing that it might cause a nuclear catastrophe like Japan’s Fukushima after an earthquake.