Chennai: Youth in villages around Kudankulam, where people are agitating against the setting up of the nuclear power plant, are unable to take up jobs abroad as passports are being denied to them, it was alleged at a public hearing in Chennai on Monday.
About a dozen villagers deposed at the public hearing on 'Kudankulam and State Supression of Democratic Rights’, coming up with startling revelations on the harassment they faced from the police.
Joseph of Idinthakarai, whose house is situated a furlong away from the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant, said that people were spending sleepless nights ever since the protest started 222 days ago.
Youth in villages around Kudankulam are unable to take up jobs abroad as passports are being denied to them.
Josephine Jaya of Kootupuli said that she has evidence to prove how the cases filed against the people were false. One teacher who was on election duty and returned to the place only that day was picked up and slapped with cases, she said and added that people working elsewhere on ships and other places were also facing cases.
Jayness, a college student, narrated the difficulties faced by students like him to reach their examination halls. He said they had to walk for over five km to take a bus. Youth there lived in fear of being picked up by the police at any time, he said.
Nishant, a fisherman, said that after bus services were terminated, auto drivers were fleecing them and they were forced to pay `200 to return home at night, a distance for which the bus fare is just `5.
Mary Theresa, a fisherman’s wife among those arrested on March 19, said that police treated them in an inhuman manner and threatened to slap serious cases against them. The booking of villagers under Sec. 124 (a) of IPC (Sedition) was an issue brought up by many who deposed before former Chief Justice of Madras High Court, A P Shah, advocate Geetha Ramseshan and Prof Prabha Kalvimani at the Loyola College premises.
Sam Rajappa, a senior journalist who visited the area as part of a fact-finding team last month said in his deposition that in his 50 years of experience, he has never come across an agitation as peaceful as the one in Idinthakarai. M G Devasahayam, a former IAS officer and social activist, expressed the view that the manner in which the police were handling the anti-KKNPP agitation gave rise to a doubt if they were taking orders from the IB, which in turn is advised by Russian intelligence.