Protester refuses to surrender, Kejriwal extends support
In a volte-face, anti-nuclear movement leader S P Udayakumar on Wednesday decided not to surrender, a day after he made a dramatic appearance and announced he would turn up before police.
Amid continuing protests against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, Udayakumar's change of plans was announced by anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal, who has extended his support for the anti-nuclear stir.
Udayakumar, convener of Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy, had yesterday said he would surrender before police at 9 PM last night but was whisked away in a boat by his emotional supporters who rejected his surrender offer.
'I met Udayakumar in the morning and requested him not to surrender. 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,' Kejriwal, who arrived here last night, said.
Kejriwal, a member of the disbanded Team Anna, also attacked the UPA at the Centre and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for the police action against the protesters and 'harassing' locals, who are up in arms against the project.
Police should not harass and torture protesters, warning people would teach a lesson to Jayalalithaa in 2014 if it is not stopped, Kejriwal told reporters at Idinthakarai, focal point of the anti-nuclear stir.
He said police should be more humane but he understood their constraints as they were acting under the instructions of the UPA at the Centre and Jayalalithaa government.
He said, 'We need power but we also need to take people out of poverty. We need inclusive development.'
The year-long stir had turned violent on Monday, with protesters engaging police in pitched battles that led to firing in which one person was killed besides lathicharge and bursting of teargas shells.