Indian Hindu ultra conservative Shiv Sena party calls for strike against nuke plant

10:02, April 20, 2011      

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India's Hindu ultra conservative political party Shiv Sena Tuesday called for a bandh (strike) in Maharashtra's Ratnagiri district after one person was killed in violent protests against the proposed 9,900 MW Jaitapur nuclear power plant.

The bandh turned violent with a mob ransacking a district hospital and torching buses. The mob attacked the district hospital and damaged its post mortem wing in Ratnagiri besides setting on fire some state transport buses and other vehicles.

"The crisis flared up when 500 people demonstrating near the proposed nuclear plant site at Madban village torched a police station in the neighboring Nate village. The police retaliated with lathicharge and opened fire, killing a 30-year-old protester, Tavrez Sejkar," sources in local administration said here.

Clashes have also been reported between the police and protesters in Ratnagiri.

"We will not stop these protests or take custody of the dead body or allow his post-mortem till Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chauhan brings the Jaitapur project to a halt. The government should take note of the Fukushima incident in Japan," a Shiv Sena leader said here.

Meanwhile, a group of 300 Shiv Sainiks are also blocking the Mumbai-Goa highway near Lanja Tuesday.

Shops and markets in Ratnagiri are closed Tuesday. The city is witnessing a total shutdown in response to the Shiv Sena's call for bandh over the firing incident.

However, Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said that there is no alternative to nuclear power.

"The Shiv Sena keeps trying to politicize the issue. They have not even read my letter. The government and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are thinking about the issues I have brought up. There is no alternative to nuclear energy," Ramesh said here.

Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Pati Tuesday announced a magistrate inquiry into the police firing at protesters in Jaitapur.

Source: Xinhua
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