Skip to content or view screen version

Fri 18 May, London: Solidarity with South Indian Anti-Nuclear Peoples' Movement

South Asia Solidarity Group | 15.05.2012 12:05 | Anti-Nuclear | Repression | Social Struggles

Defend the right to Democratic protest Against Nuclear Power in Tamil Nadu, India
Picket the High Commission of India, Aldwych, London WC2B
Friday 18 May 2012 4.00pm - 7.00pm
called by South Asia Solidarity Group, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Foil Vedanta & South West Against Nuclear (SWAN)

3,500 people are facing police investigations into allegations of sedition and “waging war” against the state for protesting against the plant in Koodankulam, Tamil Nadu, India. The crime of sedition is a colonial-era law, which has frequently been used by authorities around the country to silence dissent. The recent cases followed protests in 2011 which delayed construction work at the plant. In March 2012, the Tamil Nadu government decided to resume construction of the US$3.5 billion Kudankulam power plant, constructed with Russian assistance. Activists have conducted a hunger strike in the nearby village of Idinthakarai and villagers surrounded the protest site to prevent arrest of the activists.

The government deployed thousands of security forces around the village, creating an effective blockade that prevented the delivery of essential supplies to the villagers, in an apparent effort to compel S.P. Udaykumar, convener of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PANE), to turn himself in to the authorities. The hunger strike was called off on March 28 after the government agreed to address safety concerns and drop charges against the protesters. However, 97 people( 94 women+ 3 men) have not ended their hunger strike & remain on an indefinite fast in Idinthakarai, whilst police have been trying to enter into indinthakarai village to arrest PMANE leaders.

A four-member fact-finding team representing the Chennai Solidarity Group for Kudankulam Struggle found during a visit to Idinthakaari, the center of the protest in March, that the police had filed criminal cases against over 50,000 people since October 2011. Apart from sedition, other charges range from waging or abetting war against the state to disrupting harmony to unlawful assembly. Nearly 200 people were arrested and later released. Two people remain in custody facing charges of sedition and waging war.

India’s sedition law, section 124A of the Penal Code, prohibits any words either spoken or written, or any signs or visible representation that can cause, “hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection,” toward the government. The Supreme Court, in 1962, ruled that unless the accused incited violence by their speech or action, it would no longer constitute sedition, as it would otherwise violate the right to freedom of speech guaranteed by the Constitution.

Fresh protests erupted because many had experienced the 2006 Indian Ocean tsunami and worried about a situation like the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan in 2011.

The protestors at Koodankulam are urging that construction be halted because
- the construction violates the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safety Guidelines as the Koodankulam nuclear power plant is located in a tsunami and earthquake prone region which has also experienced volcanic eruptions.
- It is in violation of the mandatory requirment for construction of freshwater reserviors which are essential in the case of a nuclear accident. This is significant because freshwater is the only remedy in the event of a nuclear emergency. The primary cause of all major accidents - such as at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima - was the lack of freshwater
- Mandatory reports on the safety of the construction are being withheld from the public and the media

The first reactor is set to go critical this month. The villages around the plant are placed under a prohibitory order under Section 144 which means that they cannot even peacefully assemble



Picket the High Commission of India, Aldwych, London WC2B

Friday 18 May 2012 4.00pm - 7.00pm
called by
South Asia Solidarity Group
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)
Foil Vedanta
South West Against Nuclear (SWAN)

- Sedition & 'war against the state' cases against members of 'Koodankulam Peoples' Movement Against Nuclear Energy' must be dropped and Section 144 lifted
- International safety regulations for the nuclear plant must be followed
- All reports, reviews & information related to the nuclear plant at Koodankulam must be transparent and accessible to the public

For more info:
Sign the petition at:

South Asia Solidarity Group