An international conspiracy to subvert the proposed Container Trans — Shipment Terminal has come to light following the detention and release of two local journalists of Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu. D Anandakumar and M Sriram were detained and released by Tamil Nadu Police to interrogate them following reports that they had assisted two French citizens, claiming to be accredited journalists of that country.
Pon Radhakrishnan, while speaking to media told that he suspects of some kind of subversion with regard to the International Trans-Shipment Container Terminal in the district. “There are many forces working against this project. I was told by media persons in Kanyakumari about the visit of the French citizens and their activities which has aroused suspicions in their minds,” said the Minister who expressed his shock over the participation of activists who were opposed to the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in the Kanyakumari meeting.
“The French citizens who were accompanied by the local journalists visited Kanyakumari and surrounding areas and videographed pictures of various locations including the proposed site for the international port. Later they held a secret meeting at the residence of a retired Government servant who is actively campaigning against any kind of development works in Kanyakumari,” said Sundar, who is in charge of the Kanyakumari office of Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan.
Sundar said the meeting held at the residence of the retired Government official on November 24, was attended among others by eight to ten Catholic Church priests and the French citizens. “I do not know what happened in the meeting and it is the responsibility of the intelligence wing of the police to find the same. But the whole operation of the French citizens was enmeshed in mystery,” said Sundar.
He pointed out that the French citizens checked into the hotel at Kanyakumari under the guise of Indian journalists. “What is the need for them to check-in under fake names if it is for honest work?. There is something which misses the ordinary eyes,” said Pon Radhakrishnan. He said there are some forces in Kanyakumari district which opposed any kind of developmental activities under the pretext of environmental destruction. “We have already announced that the port project in no way would affect the ecology and environment in the district. But the activists have some hidden agenda,” he said
M Ravinson, president, Kumari Maha Sabha , an organisation of professionals from various fields in the district said that any development of Kanyakumari would be possible only if the Trans Shipment Terminal project was implemented without delay. “People with ulterior motives are causing roadblocks for all kind of developmental works in the district,” alleged Ravinson, himself a lawyer.
An organisation by name Alliance For Media Freedom has questioned the logic behind the police detaining the Tamil Nadu journalists M Sriram and D Ananthakumar who had accompanied the French citizens. “The French citizens had come to Kanyakumari to study the impact of beach sand mining and also about the threats to the safety of the journalists,” said the proprietor of a daily published from Chennai. But no explanation was forthcoming about the trips made by the French citizens to the port site as well as Indian Rare Earths, which come under the protected areas list.