Citizens' Issues
Authorities try to censure another nuclear crusader

Kalpakkam doctor alleges authorities filing false charges against him

While Kudunkulam is still seething with nuclear tension and moves to clamp down on the protestors continue, environmental activists in the other nuclear city of Kalpakkam are now facing another challenge. Dr V Pugazhenthi of Kalpakkam, who has been vocal about the genetic disorders and diseases that befall people living near nuclear power stations, has alleged that the authorities have filed false charges against him, and have even threatened him with dire consequences.

Dr Pugazhenthi, also famously known as the ‘one rupee doctor’ in the media, has recently been asked by the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy, which spearheads people’s agitation against Kudunkulam Nuclear Power Project, to share his professional experiences as one of its panel of experts. He has written a letter alleging that Mr Kaliyaperumal, the panchayat chief of Pudupattinam village has filed a false complaint against him and another person has threatened to murder him if he doesn’t co-operate in the doctor’s ‘anti-nuclear work’.

Last night, Dr Pugazhenthi was called to the police station by inspector Mr Siva Kumar, who read out the charges being made against him. The panchayat chief had complained that he has received some anonymous threatening SMS and letters; which he alleges has been sent by one Mr Nehru under the direction of Dr Pugazhenthi. While no FIR was registered, the inspector took from him in writing that he would be present every time he was called for questioning; and if he fails to appear, he must accept that the charges against him are true.

“Once I gave him this written note, he told me in a very harsh warning voice: ‘Doctor! Do you know that I can book you under National Security Act for whatever work you are doing? Have you ever heard about ‘police encounter’? Be careful.’ I remain baffled. However, there’s no way my professional and democratic work can be suspended by any force whatever,” Dr Pugazhenthi said in his letter.

Incidentally, Dr SP Udayakumar, coordinator of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy at Kudunkulam, and Mr Pushparayan, leader of a fishermen’s group there, have been slapped with sedition charges and for waging war against the country.

Dr Pugazhenthi denied that his work is anti-nuclear, and said, “I am only discharging my professional service by telling everyone about the findings culled from my two decade long work and critical studies related to health and nuclear radiation in general and Kalpakkam Nuclear Power Plant in particular. As I work as a medical professional and not as a political organiser, where does the question of me threatening him to join my work arise?”

The doctor suspects that the Kalpakkam Nuclear Plant authorities are behind the move, since they have been disturbed with the reports he has published about the plant’s safety standards and is also planning to write a book on the topic.

The incident has sparked anger amongst activists and former bureaucrats. EAS Sarma, former power and finance secretary, said, “Are we becoming a fascist system? Are our scientists and technologists losing their rational bearings and the urge to think scientifically?  Is anybody who apprehends risks from a technology an anti-national person?” Noted environment activist Aruna Rodriguez has suggested that legal help be provided to Dr Pugazhenthi and the police officer should be taken to task.

K Ashok Rao, president National confederation of Officers Associations of Central Public Sector Undertakings, has dubbed the move as ‘fascist’. He said, “History tells us that the House of Krupp was as much responsible for Hitler, as Rothschild were for the First World War and East India Company for colonizing India. Does it require a genius to guess what would follow Manmohan Singh?”

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COMMENTS

PPM

5 years ago

The current situation in India is critical - Anti Nuclear movement, Anti corruption movement and Opposition against the FDI in retail sectors - parliament is not functioning. To divert the attention, the intellengence agencies may play dirty things against people. Indians, be careful of goverment run by super economist (paper tiger) and Econmic Hit Man (to know more about EHMs, please google it) Manmohan Singh & Sonia Rajiv Feroz Khan.

No case for stimulus to boost moderating growth: Plan panel

The government’s fiscal deficit has risen to Rs3.07 lakh crore, or 74.4% of the budget estimates, in the first seven months (April-October) of 2011-12, as non-tax revenue growth has declined

New Delhi: The Planning Commission on Friday said there is no case for providing stimulus to the industry to arrest moderating growth as the fiscal deficit is high and may exceed the budget estimate of 4.6% by about one percentage point, reports PTI.

“I don’t think it (slowdown) has happened because of lack of stimulus... What is the case for stimulus. In a sense, there is going to be a stimulus because the deficit will be exceeded,” Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said while speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.

He conceded said that the fiscal deficit is likely to be above the budget estimate of 4.6% of gross domestic product (GDP).

“If you just count the different elements where there is deterioration it may look like 1% (more than fiscal deficit budget estimate of 4.6%)... Net effect we don’t know yet. But I did say it will be more than 4.6%,” Mr Ahluwalia said.

He, however, said that there is no question of going for a stimulus package to boost growth.

“Already the fiscal deficit will be worse than budgeted estimate (of 4.6% of GDP)... How much more I can’t say. But there will be savings on expenditure. They (the government) may be able to reduce expenditure,” he added.

The government’s fiscal deficit has risen to Rs3.07 lakh crore, or 74.4% of the budget estimates, in the first seven months (April-October) of 2011-12, as non-tax revenue growth has declined.

The economy expanded at the slowest pace in two years at 6.9% in the July-September quarter of the current fiscal. For the first half (April-September) of the fiscal, the average growth rate is 7.3%.

GDP growth in the second quarter of the fiscal slowed to 6.9% from 8.4% in the corresponding period last year, mainly on account of rising interest rates and uncertain global growth scenario.

GDP growth in 2010-11 stood at 8.5%.

Growth in eight core infrastructure industries also dipped to 0.1% in October, the lowest in five years.

“Slowdown has occurred because of (low) investment expectations, because of political uncertainty and I think because of delay in implementing infrastructure projects. We should concentrate on the last (infrastructure projects)...

political mood will change within a period of time,” Mr Ahluwalia said.

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