Activists arrested during anti-nuclear power protest in India

CPI(M) leader Ch. Narasinga Rao being taken into custody at Kosta junction in Srikakulam district on Sunday.— Photo: Basheer

CPI(M) leader Ch. Narasinga Rao being taken into custody at Kosta junction in Srikakulam district — Photo: Basheer

Police foil CPI(M) protest against N-plant

from The Hindu

CPI(M) [Communist Party of India – Marxist] leaders and activists were arrested at the Kosta junction in Andhra Pradesh’s Srikakulam district on Sunday, November 13, when they tried to launch a padayatra [“(Hindi, lit. journey by foot) is a journey undertaken by a politicians or prominent citizens to interact more closely with different parts of society, educate about issues concerning them, and galvanize his or her supporters”] to register their protest against the proposed atomic power plant in Kovvada village.

CPI(M) Secretariat member Ch. Narasinga Rao and district president Bhaviri Krishna Murthy and CITU general secretary D. Govinda Rao were among other leaders who gathered at the junction to proceed towards Kovvada. The police said they would not be allowed to meet the villagers as meetings and programmes were banned under Section 30. The CPI(M) questioned why the police allowed the TDP [a regional political party] leaders to take out the Jana Chaitanya Yatra [the name of their walkabout], and alleged that they were selectively enforcing rules.

Tension prevailed as the activists tried to prevent the police from taking the leaders into custody. They raised slogans against the Union government, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), and the district administration for trying to go ahead with the project without taking the people into confidence.

Mr. Govinda Rao alleged that the police were crossing their limits to thwart the party’s peaceful awareness programmes such as padayatra and distribution of pamphlets.

Later, all the leaders, including Ch. Ammananidu and P. Tejeswara Rao, were sent to the Ranasthalam Police Station. They were released in the evening.