Coming down heavily on the government for the arrest of an eleven-member fact finding committee that visited Kudankulam to know the ground reality of the ongoing protest against the nuclear power plant built there, the Revolutionary Writers’ Association (Virasam) demanded the immediate withdrawal of cases booked against the committee members.
Addressing mediapersons here on Monday, Virasam leader Varavara Rao said cases were booked against the members of the committee, including four women, under various sections by the Tamil Nadu police.
They had not violated any law but had only wanted to visit the place where the fishermen have been demanding for years that the government stop construction of the nuclear power plant. “With recent incidents at Kudankulam that caught the attention of the entire nation, the team, consisting of academicians, lawyers and research scholars, many of whom are well-known persons, went to find the ground realities. Even before they reached Kudankulam, the team was arrested for violating Sec 144, which was in force. However, cases were booked against them on wrong charges,” Rao said.
He condemned the reports that portrayed an unmarried woman, a fact-finding committee member and Virasam state secretary P Varalakshmi, as the wife of a Maoist leader, who had allegedly led the ‘attack’ team to Kudankulam. “She is a respectable lecturer in a college, who teaches environmental science and is concerned about the exploitation of natural resources and violation of human rights,” he said.
President of Telagnana Writers Forum G Gourishankar, Basith, S Sujatha of Virasam and working editor of Arunatara DV Ramakrishna Rao spoke and condemned the vilification of its members, stating that the government had become subservient to the wishes of the capitalistic USA and that its actions were anti-people and anti-democratic.
They demanded immediate withdrawal of cases foisted against people of Kudankulam and the fact-finding committee, withdrawal of police force and Sec-144 in Kudankulam, and stoppage of nuclear power plant construction.