‘A reign of government
terror in Jaitapur’
Anti-Jaitapur nuclear plant protests in Mumbai
Prasanna D Zore listens in to two
retired judges leading the grassroots
protest in Maharashtra against a
proposed nuclear power plant.
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh
Despite being denied entry into Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district by the administration, the two for- mer judges leading a grassroots uprising in the area
are in no mood to withdraw their agitation till the Jaitapur
nuclear power plant is abandoned.
The Lokshasan Andolan, spearheaded by retired justices
B G Kolse Patil and P B Sawant, is one of the many umbrella organizations driving the opposition to the proposed
9,800 megawatt nuclear power plant in Jaitapur,
Ratnagiri, by the French company Areva.
“The state government is employing terrorist means to
stave off our agitation. They are spreading a reign of government terror in Jaitapur,” Kolse Patil told a press conference in Mumbai last week. The Maharashtra chief minister
and his ministers are directly and indirectly encouraging
the prevailing lawlessness, he added.
Kolse Patil alleged a regional officer in Ratnagiri, Ajit
Pawar (not the state deputy chief minister), is threatening
the project-affected people with dire consequences.
“He is telling them that the government has given him
orders to shoot anybody who refuses to accept compensation checks in lieu of their land,” Kolse Patil said, referring
to a news article published by a local newspaper, Lokmat.
Sawant said the government has scant regard for the
peaceful agitation against the
Jaitapur nuclear power plant. “The
arrogance of power is blinding the
ruling establishment,” he said.
P B Sawant, left, and B G Kolse Patil
sion and distribution of power can make India a
power-surplus country. “40
percent of India’s generated
power is wasted in transmission and distribution. Even if
we reduce these losses by 20
percent we will become power-surplus,” he added.
The international figure for
such losses is 5 to 10 percent,
Sawant said there are vested
interests behind the Jaitapur
nuclear power plant.