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Jaitapur protester's family refuses to claim body

Tuesday April 19, 2011 12:43:42 PM, IANS

Ratnagiri (Maharashtra): The family members of Tabrez Pehekar, who was killed in police firing a day earlier while protesting the Jaitapur nuclear power project, have refused to claim his body.

They say the police official responsible for ordering the firing on the protesters should be suspended first, an activist said here Tuesday.

Konkan Bachao Samiti chief Vaishali Patil said the family members of Tabrez, including his wife, are squatting in the Ratnagiri Civil Hospital premises where the body is lying.

"We will not claim the body for the last rites until the government suspends Ratnagiri police sub-divisional officer (SDO) Ajit Pawar, who ordered the police to shoot at the unarmed crowd of protesters yesterday," a grim Patil told IANS.

KBS and Jan Hit Seva Samiti, besides several NGOs and peoples' groups, have also demanded that Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan immediately intervene in the matter and make a statement cancelling the 9,900-MW Jaitapur project since the locals are strongly opposed to it.

"We will not take Tabrez's body till the SDO, Ajit Pawar, is suspended and the chief minister assures us that the nuclear power project will be shifted out of Maharashtra," Patil declared.

The Shiv Sena's Ratnagiri shutdown evoked a total response in all the major towns and villages in the coastal district here Tuesday.

Shiv Sainiks indulged in minor violence like pelting stones at public transport buses, deflating the tyres of trucks and buses attempting to ply during the shutdown, and blocking the busy Ratnagiri-Kolhapur highway by dumping burning tyres there, police said.

Police have made strong security arrangements in the entire district to tackle any eventuality during the shutdown, called in protest against Tuesday's police firing in Nate village and the caning of the people in Madhban village.

Several other activists have strongly condemned the police violence in the district against the JNPP protesters.

"We condemn the police brutality and the adamant attitude of the Maharashtra government to push ahead with the (JNPP) project despite the events at Fukushima Japan," Patil told IANS. The March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan had caused disastrous leaks at the Fukushima nuclear plant.






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