Leaders of various parties and outfits, including Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Vaiko, were on Friday arrested in Tirunelveli when they attempted to proceed to Idinthakarai, the epicentre of protests against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, to express their solidarity with the locals demanding the scrapping of the Indo-Russian project.
Leaders and volunteers of MDMK, Pattali Makkal Katchi, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, Nam Tamizhar Iyakkam and Popular Front of India and Anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant People's Movement co-ordinator 'Kolathur' Mani were arrested at Palayamkottai, said the police.
They were arrested in view of the ban orders in force in the entire taluk.
Earlier, they participated in a rally organised in Tirunelveli to condemn the central and state governments for their 'atrocious' attitude in going ahead with the project and the crackdown on People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy, which is spearheading the protest.
Thirteen resolutions were passed at the rally, seven of them aimed at the Centre and six raising demands pertaining to the state government.
They demanded that the Centre give the state government full freedom to produce the power it required, allocate the entire quantum of power produced from the thermal stations at Neyveli to the state and the Kudankulam project be not commissioned till the people's fears were removed.
The rally urged the state government to withdraw the cases filed against the PMANE members and release the arrested leaders. Besides, it also demanded that the huge police force stationed in and around Kudankulam be withdrawn and lifting of Section 144 regulatory orders in force in Radhapuram taluk.
Addressing the rally, Vaiko attacked Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M Karunanidhi for his stand that Rs 14,000 crore would go waste if the KNPP was not commissioned and asked, "What does the DMK leader have to say about the Rs.1.75 lakh crore loss caused by his party men in the 2G spectrum scam."
He said Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had let down the PMNANE activists after passing a cabinet resolution earlier that the project should not be commissioned without convincing the locals about its safety.