Tirunelveli : As tension simmered, security forces on Wednesday sealed almost the entire town housing the Koodankulam nuclear power plant. Only the movement of essential commodities is being allowed into the town as policemen took positions at vantage points.
Udayakumar had on Tuesday announced that he would court arrest but was dramatically whisked away by his supporters in a boat.
The protests against the commissioning of the Indo-Russian venture in Tirune-lveli district also took a sharp turn with former Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal backing the movement and urging Udayakumar not to court arrest.
Kejriwal, who turned up at Idinthakarai, a coastal hamlet close to the Koodankulam plant, had a meeting with Udayakumar at an undisclosed location. Later, Kerjiwal said, “He should use all legal remedies. It is extremely important that he remains outside and should not offer himself to police. He is convinced and he agreed.’’
Kerjriwal hit out at Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa for the police action against the protestors, which claimed the life of a fisherman on Monday.
“The people were protesting peacefully. What is wrong in it? The police are ransacking their houses. Around 40 boats belonging to the fishermen have been destroyed. This is not democracy. What the police are doing is illegal. The police should be loyal to the Constitution and not the State Government. The State is terrorizing the people. You cannot stop a protest movement like this. You are bulldozing the people,” he said.
Kerjiwal also accused the Central Government of colluding with the State Government in muzzling the protests.
Tirunelveli Collector Selvaraj said a notice was issued to Udayakumar by e-mail last week not to involve women and children as shields in the protests. “Udayakumar has violated this directive,” he said. Tirunelveli Superintendent of Police Vijayendra S Bidari said a hunt was on to arrest Udayakumar. Meanwhile, DMK president M Karunanidhi has urged the Central and State Governments to hold talks with the protestors instead of using the police force to target them.