The man spearheading the protests against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant was last seen in public on Sept 11 when he turned up at Idinthakarai near here and announced his surrender later that night.
Stating that he would give himself up to the police at 9 pm in the presence of "a non-political national leader", Udayakumar accused the state government of unleashing repression on PMANE members.
He pointed out that the police had lobbed tear gas shells at the protesters before resorting to a lathicharge on Sept 10. "I am not afraid of being arrested ... even if they arrest me, people will continue the agitation," he asserted.
However, his supporters stressed that they will not allow police to take him into custody. Arvind Kejriwal, who has been in the forefront of India Against Corruption's recent stirs, also advised Udayakumar against surrendering at that stage.
A group of protesters soon took him away in a boat to an undisclosed location. Subsequently, the police registered cases against Udayakumar for inciting villagers and declared him an absconder.
According to sources, Udayakumar is presently lodged at a place called Koothankuzhi. His supporters have placed country made bombs all around the hideout, the sources said. This is apparently to prevent the police from reaching the safe house wherein he is staying.
Udayakumar's associates have taken the above precaution since they believe the police will try to eliminate the PMANE convenor if their efforts to arrest him fail. They are afraid that the police may stage an encounter just to get rid of the most wanted person in TN right now.
It is another matter altogether that the AIADMK government won't even contemplate such a move. Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa is not likely to hand an emotive issue to the DMK-led opposition on a platter.