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Jaitapur children boycott schools

Special Correspondent


After the administration asked teachers to instil in them positive things about nuclear energy


MUMBAI: Children from 70 schools in the Jaitapur-Madban area in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra boycotted classes on Monday to protest against the district administration asking their teachers to tell them that nuclear energy is “clean and green energy”.

Some days ago, district officials went around primary schools asking teachers to instil in students that the nuclear power project at Jaitapur was good for them.

Pravin Gavankar from Madban village near the site of the project, said that nearly 2,500 to 3000 children from 20 villages did not go to school and even the anganwadis, where children under six years are sent, remained closed. It was a peaceful protest, he added.

Mr. Gavankar who belongs to the Janhit Seva Samiti and faces a charge of attempt to murder for his protests against the project, said that the schools would remain closed on Tuesday as well. The children's protest would then spread to the fishing village of Sakhri Nate on Wednesday and Thursday and about 12 villages would take part.

Many protesters face police cases and have been served externment notices like Gavankar.

To boycott CM's meeting

Mr .Gavankar said that the local people would not attend the meeting called by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on January 18 to discuss the Jaitapur project. “They have already decided to go ahead with the project and why are they trying to tell us that this is good for us?” he asked. The government has never taken people into confidence, he alleged. He asked if the nuclear energy was clean and green, why not locate it in Mumbai at Malabar Hill? He also objected to the clean chit given by nuclear scientists who said that it was not dangerous to the environment.

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