The bandh called by DMK-led opposition parties to condemn police firing at Tuticorin in which 13 people lost their lives and press for Chief Minister K Palaniswami’s resignation passed off peacefully on Friday. Demonstrations by DMK, its allies Congress, IUML, MMK and other parties like MDMK, VCK, CPI, and CPI(M) were staged across Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry.
Protesters in Tuticorin, nearly 600 km from Chennai, had clashed with police protesting the proposed expansion of a copper smelter of Sterlite Copper, a unit of the Vedanta group, over pollution concerns. The Tamil Nadu police resorted to firing as the agitation allegedly turned violent. Yesterday, DMK leader Stalin, who was holding a protest outside Tamil Nadu secretariat, was also detained by the police. Several other leaders were detained too.
DMK Working president M K Stalin said such protests would continue till Palaniswami quits and demanded that government make an official announcement that the Sterlite plant would be shut permanently. Protests would be held till such an official declaration was made, he told reporters at a hall where he was lodged by police after he led a protest at Madurantakam in Kancheepuram district.
Palaniswami had on Thursday defended the police action. “When someone hits you, you naturally tend to defend yourselves. so on such situations, no one acts in a pre-planned manner,” he wrote on Twitter.