In Jaitapur, India, local police shot into a crowd of demonstrators protesting a proposal to build a nuclear power station in the area, killing one person.
Gulabrao Pol, the Maharashtra Police inspector general, said that police were forced to fire upon the crowd after the “mob consisting of hundreds of people took the law into their own hands.”
The police had thrown tear-gas shells, charged the mob with bamboo sticks, and fired rubber bullets into the crowd to try and disperse them.
Following the riot, more than 20 people were arrested and 8 police officers were injured when the demonstrators began throwing rocks and the police station was set on fire.
Officials told the state assembly that about 600 to 700 people were involved in the demonstrations, and that some were suspected to have been armed.
Local farmers and fishers were protesting the proposed plant, saying that the plant would rob them of their livelihood and nuclear waste would damage the soil and the water that sustain them. Environmental campaigners also cited the plants proposed location in their argument against the project, saying that the location is prone to natural disasters like earthquakes.
Insiders in the nuclear industry also doubted India’s ability to handle a disaster on the level of the Fukushima power plant that was hit by an earthquake and tsunami.
Currently, nuclear power is only 3% of India’s energy output, but plans to increase that to 6% by the end of the decade and 13% by 2030.
Instead, environmental campaigners want the government to focus and invest on renewable energy sources.
Photo credit: tva.gov/power/nuclear/images/sqn_plant.png