In a bid to pay homage to Tabrez Sayekar, who fell to police bullets on today’s date last year while protesting the construction of a 9,000 MW nuclear power plant in Jaitapur, locals have decided to name the junction of Sakhri-Nate village after him. Located about 40 kilometers from Ratnagiri on the way to Jaitapur, the junction is the very place where Sayekar was shot at. The place will now be known as Saheed Tabrez Sayekar Chowk.
Around 3,000 villagers, including people from the nearby areas, are expected to attend the observance. Here, they plan to sit for some time and offer prayers. Also, the villagers — mostly fisherman — have decided that they won’t take out their boats for fishing today. “The way this government is fighting with its own people to build a nuclear plant is quite painful. We know that once the plant is built, the waste will be released into the sea. This will hit our livelihood hard, and hence we have decided not to venture the sea today,” said a villager.
The villagers claim they are also doing so to make the government realise that the local community is still against the project. “Our protest and on and will continue. Come what may, we won’t let the nuclear plant come up here,” said Amjad Borkar, one of the activists protesting the project.
Meanwhile, leaders from other villagers, who have been prohibited from going to Sakhri-Nate, said they’d try their best to reach the spot and extend their support to the movement.
In the last one year, with hardly any report about the Jaitapur plant appearing in the media, the movement appeared to have lost its momentum.
However, activist claim that the movement is still alive and will increase manifolds. “It’s actually a silent protest, like the non cooperation movement. The people working at the plant need food and water. The cops posted here earlier got food for them food from the locals, but now that stopped,” said Advocate Pradeep Parulekar, an activist. He added that earlier there were few villages that were not against the plant, but now even they have joined us. “The movement has grown and we expect it to grow even bigger,” said Parulekar.