Press statement by CPI (ML) on arrest of party general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya and other leaders to prevent them from visiting Koodankulam:
CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, along with other party leaders, was arrested at Radhapuram, a few kilometers away from Idinthakarai, the site of the protest against the Koodankulam Nuclear Plant.
CPI(ML) Politburo member S Kumaraswamy, Tamil Nadu State Secretary Balasundaram and other CPI(ML) leaders of Tamil Nadu were also arrested along with him.
At Tirunelveli town on Monday morning, local CPI(ML) leaders were detained by police and prevented from proceeding to Idinthakarai. Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya and his team had proceeded directly to Idinthakarai from Tuticorin airport, but were stopped by a huge posse of police at a short distance from Idinthakarai.
A convention organised by the All India Left Coordination (AILC) at Mavalankar Hall, New Delhi on Sunday had given a call for a fortnight-long Solidarity Campaign (October 1 to 15) in support of the anti-nuke agitation at Koodankulam.
The CPI(ML) General Secretary’s visit to Koodankulam was to kick off the solidarity campaign. A videotaped message of Koodankulam struggle leader SP Udayakumar was also screened at the AILC Convention on Sunday.
After his arrest, Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya said, “Why are citizens being prevented from meeting and interacting with the protesting people of Koodankulam? Such arrests expose the utterly draconian conduct of the Central Government and State Government, which are attempting to choke off the people’s protests by sheer force.”
Commenting on the Koodankulam struggle, he said, “The names of places like Chernobyl and Fukushima became well-known after terrible nuclear disasters occurred there. But Koodankulam has become known the world over, for the brave agitation to prevent a disaster.”