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Anti-Jaitapur protest during French president's visit

February 14, 2013 18:16 IST

President Francois Hollande's visit to India on Thursday saw a protest against French-assisted Jaitapur nuclear power plant by activists who alleged that proper safety measures had not been adopted in the project to prevent a Fukushima like disaster.

Activists and students from All India Progressive Womens Association and All India Student's Association protested here against setting up of the nuclear power plant at Jaitapur in Maharashtra with the help of French firm Areva.

"The nuclear power plant is being built on the land that was earlier used to cultivate alphonso mangoes. The construction would take away the livelihood of the farmers in the area and would be an environmental hazard also. We don't want another Fukushima like disaster," said Kavita Krishnan, secretary of the AIPWA.

French President should also take a look at the deal the Indian government was signing with the French company without ensuring the safety of the reactor, which is a new technology and not used anywhere in the world, she claimed.

"The government must clarify on what safety measures have been adopted to prevent a disaster, since the European Pressurised Reactor is 'untested' technology," said activist Harsh Kapoor of South Asian Citizens Web.

The activists also protested against alleged efforts to "shield" Pascal Mazurier, a French diplomat accused of raping his three-year-old daughter in Bangalore, under French pressure.

"We want to know why the French government is trying to back the French diplomat who is accused of raping his daughter," said Krishnan.

French President Hollande is on a two-day state visit to the country.

The protest comes a day after the Left leaders asked the government not to sign a deal on the supply of the nuclear reactor to the Jaitapur nuclear power plant.

A series of equipment failures, nuclear meltdowns and release of radioactive materials occurred at the Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, leading to mass evacuation from the area.

It was the largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

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