Hundreds of anti-nuclear protesters formed a human chain stood in sea waters for the second day today demanding halting of preparations for fuel loading into the nuclear reactor here.
Women and men would stand in the sea waters for two hours in turns, Pushparayan, leader of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, spearheading the year-long agitation, told presspersons here.
Police here said Satishkumar, a close associate of S. P. Udayakumar, Convenor of PMANE, was arrested in Chennai today for trying to “instigate” the fishermen there to join the stir against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP).
The search for Udayakumar, who had announced that he would surrender on Tuesday night, but later did a U-turn, continued, police said.
The Coast Guard aircraft and ships maintained their surveillance at sea, off nearby Idinthakarai as the villagers stood in waist and neck deep water.
Taking their cue from a similar protest demanding land as compensation and reduction of the height of the Omkareshwar Dam recently by villagers of Khandwa district in Madhya Pradesh, PMANE launched their ‘jal satyagraha’ yesterday, marking a new turn in their agitation, which was intensified after preparations for fuel loading into the plant was announced.
More than 4,000 police personnel, bolstered by the Rapid Action Force, continued to maintain a strict vigil, having almost sealed the entire Kudankulam town.
The Supreme Court had yesterday refused to stay loading of fuel for the Kudankulam plant but agreed to examine the risk associated with the project, saying the safety of people living in its vicinity was of prime concern.