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Officials deport German as NGOs charged

Authorities say he had 'documents' about Russian-built nuclear plant

Leo Fernando, Chennai

Leo Fernando, Chennai

Updated: February 29, 2012 07:52 AM GMT
Officials deport German as NGOs charged

Indian officials have deported a German man they allege is an activist helping protests against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu. Sonnteg Reiner-Hermann, who was on a tourist visa, was deported from the state capital Chennai on Tuesday, according to media reports. The state authorities said they had found “documents” in his possession related to the Russian-built nuclear plant. The deportation comes in the wake of federal government freezing bank accounts of four NGOs. State police have filed charges against the NGOs under a foreign currency regulation act, accusing them of “diverting” funds to support those protesting against the plant. However, activists from one of the groups affected, the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, refuted the charges. Group leader S Udayakumar filed a legal defamation suit against Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who claimed western NGOs were supporting the anti-nuclear protest. In another development, the panel of scientists set up to study the safety of the project submitted its report yesterday to the state government, recommending commissioning of the US$ 3 billion plant which has been stalled since last September. People from three districts in Tamil Nadu, including thousands of fishermen, are protesting against the commissioning of the nuclear plant which they say will affect their lives and livelihoods. Related links: Police charge protest bishopBishop ‘still supports’ anti-nuclear protest  

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