Church backed activism fueled the Kudankulam protest: Republic TV report
The Kudankulam Nuclear Power situated in the state of Tamil Nadu was conceptualized as the largest Nuclear Power plant in India with a total capacity of 6000 MW. The construction of the plant began way back in 2002 but it was marred by constant protests.
This protest reached a boiling point in 2011 when the villagers reportedly feared that a Fukushima type disaster might befall the Nuclear plant. One of the prominent leaders of the anti-Kudankulam movement was SP Udayakumar, who led the People’s movement against Nuclear Energy.
Incidentally this whole protest had come under suspicion way back in 2012 when there were reports about the protest being allegedly backed by the Church and varies foreign parties. In 2014 there were further allegations after an alleged IB report had claimed that Udayakumar had been working on the behest of various American and German entities in order to subvert the development of India.
Now earlier today, this whole issue was again raked up, when Repubic TV came up with a sting operation on Udyakumar and various members of the Tamil Nadu Church, which seemed to further corraborate the ”foreign funded protest theory”.
The Republic TV reporters approached Udayakumar as foreign university students whose professor wished to make a donation to Udayakumar in order to aid him in his anti-nuclear protests. In the video, he was seen suggesting various indirect ways by which foreign funds could be routed to him without him coming under scrutiny from security agencies.
He suggested how the amount could be donated to his political party through their family or friends who are living in India or they simply send cash. Incidentally this donation was meant for another round of protests which he seems to starting in the future. This suggested that Udayakumar was very much willing to accept foreign funds for fueling his protests. Interestingly he later tried to take a u-turn on his willingness to accept money as according to the reporter he was warned by some of his associates not to deal with them.
The reporters then followed the Church backed protest angle and zeroed in on a Church in Idinthakarai which according to them was a hub of anti-nuclear protests. They reportedly stung a Parish priest named Jayakumar who managed the money used in the protest. He had apparently selected 70 people who were set up as a front while he and the Diocese controlled things from behind the curtains. Apparently he took care of all the protests in Idinthakarai and there were 13 other Fathers who similarly managed 13 other villages.
The report also claimed that this whole church involvement was orchestrated by a Bishop who had suggested that Jayakumar operate from the background. The Bishop was incidentally the person who was withstanding all the external ‘pressure’ like the cancellation of their FCRA license.
He also claimed that their Diocese which constitutes of 115 parishes, churches and more than 400 convents, sub stations used to receive support from people in Italy, France.
The reporters followed it up by stinging another priest named Jesuraj who claimed that the student movement named All India Catholic University Federation was heavily involved in the protest and used to spread ‘awareness’ against the whole nuclear project.
The reporters also interviewed a villager who claimed that all the NGOs were actually run by Bishops who paid money to Christian people if they took part in the protests.
Through these sting operations, it appeared that the main motivation for the whole protest was not an aversion to Nuclear Power but a desire to earn money. It remains to be seen if Indian security agencies now take a renewed interest in this matter in wake of these new findings by Republic TV.