Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Monday appealed to people not to fall prey to the "designs" of anti-nuclear lobbyists and defended the police action, in which one fisherman was killed during protests in Tuticorin against the Kudankulam atomic power project.

Jayalalithaa, who reviewed the situation following violence during the anti-nuclear agitation, slammed the protestors saying it was not proper on their part to try to tall works even after the Madras High Court's nod for the project.

Holding that the plant posed no threat to the livelihood of local fishermen, she appealed to them not to fall prey to the designs of protestors "who have a general anti-nuclear stand."

She also appealed to those who oppose the project, which is very safe, to help in its early commissioning.

On Monday’s incidents in Tirunelvei and Tuticorin districts, she said police were forced to take action on being provoked.

Jayalalithaa said a mob tried to set on fire a temporary police post at Manappadu in Tuticorin and a policeman opened fire in self-defence in which one person was killed.

Expressing her sympathies with the deceased, she announced a relief of Rs 5 lakh to the family of the victim.

In Tirunelveli, police asked the protestors to disperse citing the prohibitory orders but an increased number of them tried to march towards the power plant and started attacking policemen with logs, injuring some of them.

To protect themselves and the power plant and prevent possible harm to general public in the case of the plant coming under attack, police lobbed tear-gas shells as they did have no other option, she said.

Recalling the chronological events since the protests erupted last year around this time, she listed out various efforts taken by the government including setting up expert panels to allay the fears of the locals against the plant.

"After these, those opposed to the nuclear plant moved the court which allowed works to go ahead. And it is not proper on their part to try to stop works at the plant despite the court judgement," she said in an official statement here.

Meanwhile, Opposition parties including DMDK and MDMK slammed the government for today's police action.

Opposition Leader and DMDK founder Vijayakant said the government should have had adopted a "transparent approach" to talk out the matter with locals whose fears he said were just.

MDMK founder Vaiko announced staging protests in Chennai and Karur on Tuesday with the himself leading it at the latter.

CPI-M state unit appealed to the protestors to drop their agitation and help ensure an amicable situation and urged the government also to ensure peace.

(Agencies)

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