In a development which could have ramifications on the campaign against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant, police in Tirunelveli has come across a “major suspicious transfer” of Rs.29,98,782 from London to Koodankulam.
The money was transferred from London by one Anand to the Canara Bank’s Koodankulam branch account of Ambika Thavasi, wife of Thavasi Kumar, an activist of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), campaigning for the closure of the 2X1000 MW nuclear plant being built by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) with Russian assistance.
“The International Division of the Canara Bank in Mumbai alerted us about the transfer of such a big amount from London to its Koodankulam branch. On investigation we found that prior to the transfer of this money, Ambika’s account had a balance of just Rs 505. Our major concern is that the transaction comes just before the PMANE’s proposed sea siege on Monday,” Sumit Sharan, the young DIG of Tirunelveli police, told The Pioneer.
He said Thavasi Kumar has recently been booked under the Goonda’s Act.
The PMANE has called for a sea siege in boats on Monday to commemorate the second anniversary of the accident at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan.
Interestingly, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had told an international science magazine that the Koodankulam agitators were getting financial aid from foreign countries.
Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Narayanasamy too had alleged many times that the PMANE activists were getting funds from abroad to sustain the agitation.
According to Sharan, what raised suspicion in the minds of the police was that Ambika or Thavasi Kumar had no business or major sources of income. “She told us that she does not know Anand, the person who sent the money. We found that there was no business link between Anand, Ambika or Thavasi,” he said.
Work in Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant came to a grinding halt in September 2011 following the agitation by the PMANE. Work was resumed after six months following enquiries by two different expert committees who found that the plant was safe. But the PMANE is still in the hope that they would be able to make the Government shut down the plant, which is expected to go critical by April 2013.
“What baffles us is how the PMANE activists are sustaining the agitation. The menfolk do not go for fishing while the women in Koodankulam are on a sit in at Idinthakarai, agitating against the plant. We have reports that they are getting all kind of support from various organisations and an enquiry is on,” said Sharan.
However, V Pushparayan, co-convener of the PMANE alleged that the police and Intelligence agencies were out to subvert their agitation by foisting false cases.
“The money sent to Ambika was meant for buying property for Thavasi Kumar’s friend in London. Authorities can very easily verify the antecedents of this transaction as they know the remitter and the receiver,” said Pushparayan.
“It is pertinent to note that the Congress Government and its notorious Finance Minister exempted any financial probe against Robert Vadra when he was accused of amassing wealth worth over Rs 300 crores in Delhi. Is Rs 300 crore a smaller amount than Rs 30 lakhs? Why does Sonia Gandhi refuse to disclose her family assets and income details under the Right to Information Act? Why don’t the Indian Intelligence agencies probe the various scandals and corrupt deals of the Congress ministers and politicians?” the PMANE asked in a release on Sunday.