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Sep 11, 2012 at 09:01am IST

Kudankulam tense, protestors on hunger strike

Kudankulam: The village of Kudankulam remained tense on Tuesday as the stand-off between anti-nuclear plant villagers and the police continues. Tens of thousands of protestors spent Monday night camping in open against the nuclear plant.

Many protestors are continuing their hunger strike. They're opposing the loading of uranium at the reactor, rumoured to take place on Tuesday.

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On Monday, the protests spread to Tuticorin where one farmer died in police firing. Prohibitory orders remain in force around the plant. Police opened fire on Monday evening following day-long clashes in the area between the fishermen and the police force.

The police charged at the protestors after they set on fire a house in the area. The protestors also blocked the Tuticorin-Nagercoil highway and tried to stop the Mysore Express train at Tuticorin railway station.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the family of the fisherman who was shot dead.

Jayalalithaa also released a statement asking the fishermen to not fall prey to the anti-Kudankulam lobby. She further appealed to them to not indulge in protests and violence against the plant.

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister also backed the police saying the policemen had to use tear gas and force to disperse crowd for self defence, adding that the nuclear plant was safe.

Earlier the police moved in to chase the protestors at Kudankulam and fired tear gas shells. Thousands of protestors fled towards the ocean and threw slippers, shoes and small stones at the police force.

After the protestors were sandwiched between the police force of one side and the ocean on the other side, several of them started to throw sand as they were left with nothing to fight back with.

A few of the protestors were seen fleeing using boats while others were standing waist deep in the water even as several of them fought a pitched battle with the police force.

Police blocked hundreds of villagers who were attempting to march to the plant in order to protest the loading of fuel in the coming days.

Locals renewed their agitation in a big way against the nuclear plant on Sunday. After being stopped by the police, the villagers planned to take the coastal route to lay siege to the plant.