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THE TIMES OF INDIA
Tue, Apr 26, 2011 | Updated 04.13pm IST

Cops detain over 100 N-plant protesters
Jaitapur Agitators Let Off After Warning

Simit Bhagat TNN
Thane: The Boisar police on Saturday detained 134 protesters, who had come to participate in the three-day Tarapur to Jaitapur rally, at Kurgaon, to protest their confinement they went on a hunger strike. Later, they were let off with a warning. The police detained the demonstrators—mainly students, activists, scientists, former judges and environmentalists—as a preventive measure under section 68 and 69 of the Bombay Police Act. Some of the prominent detaineesincludedJusticePB Sawant, Justice B G Kolse-Patil, H M Desarda, former member of the Maharashtra State Planning Board and activist Vaishali Patil. “We told them not to continue with the rally till Jaitapur,” said Chandrakant Pawaskar, additional police superintendant, Thane (rural).Activistscomplainedthat their drivers were threatened by the police. “Even before the rally, we expected them to arrest us and not allow us to protest against the nuclear plant. The police may not allow us to enter Ratnagiri district and we will face similar trouble over the nexttwodays,” saidH M Desarda. “The government wants citizens to be unaware about the hazards of nuclear energy and will ensure that such rallies do not take place,” said Baneshwar Manna, another protester, who had come from West Bengal. Dharampal Sinariya, a resident of Haryana affected by a proposed nuclear plant, added, “If the government is so sure that nuclear energy is safe, then why do we need to debate the nuclear liability bill?” However, at the rally near Tarapur, activists and former judges criticized the government for “dumping unsafe energy on the people of India”. “Even after the tragedy in Japan, the government does not want to accept that nuclear energy can be disastrous,” said Justice P B Sawant.

WITH AN IRON HAND: Activists claim that the state is trying to scuttle democratic protest (below) Justice Kolse-Patil being detained

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