'Centre, state must initiate dialogue with anti-N activists'
A report brought out on the basis of a public hearing over protests against Kudankulam nuclear power plant on Monday recommended that the centre and the state governments initiate dialogue, arrive at a middle ground,"stop persecution of persons and resolve the issue mutually."
Titled 'report of the jury on the public hearing on Kudankulam and state suppression of democratic rights' and released to the media, it said the right to speech was constitutionally guaranteed and those opposed to the plant were well within their rights to speak about it.
"The jury recommends that all cases against persons under these provisions be withdrawn as they are only exercising their legitimate right to protest and there was nothing to indicate they were committing such serious offences," it said.
The report was based on the public hearing over the state action against anti nuclear activists protesting against KNPP power plant held on May 14 in Chennai.
The public hearing committee included retired chief justice of Delhi high court A P Shah,advocate Geeta Ramaseshan and Prabha Kalvimani of Irular tribes protection association.
On impositon of section 144 CrPC,in force in the area it said an order under the section can be made only during an emergency and that imposition for a large stretch of time in rural areas can cause tremendous hardship. It recommended that the government revoke the order immediately take positive and pro active steps to bring normalcy in the area.
It said the centre must release information on safety,site evaluation and information that would not comromise strategic interests. "The order of the central information commission directing government to release such information should be complied with immediately."
Other recommendations were making public the India-Russia inter governmental liability agreement, resuming talks with people's movement against nuclear energy, spearheading the movement, and setting up a fair committee acceptable to villagers to address their concerns.
The public hearing was organised by the 'Chennai solidarity group for Kudankulam struggle.'