MK Stalin, Kamal Haasan question who ordered police firing at Sterlite protesters

In a string of tweets, DMK's Stalin has questioned the directive to use automatic weapons to disperse the crowd over rubber or plastic bullets, which would prevent fatal injuries.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 23, 2018 1:51:44 pm
DMK's Stalin questions order to fire at anti-Sterlite protesters DMK’s Stalin said that immediately after the Supreme Court’s verdict on the issue, the Centre should have a filed a review petition. Express Photo by Arun Janardhanan

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president and Leader of Opposition MK Stalin on Wednesday questioned the police action that led to the ‘mass murder of innocent people’ who were protesting Vedanta’s Sterlite Copper industrial plant in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) a day before. In a string of tweets, DMK’s Stalin questioned the directive to use automatic weapons to disperse the crowd over rubber or plastic bullets, which would prevent fatal injuries.

“Who ordered the police firing on protestors? Why were automatic weapons used to disperse the crowd and under what law is this permitted? Why were rubber/ plastic bullets or other means NOT used to avoid fatal injuries? Why was no warning given before firing?” Stalin said. The party has reportedly called for an all-party meeting on May 25 to discuss the issue.

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“Why was there not adequate police presence to maintain law and order during #SterliteProtest? Is it accurate to say that there was a total failure of State intelligence which led to these unfortunate deaths? Did IG-Intelligence brief police and @CMOTamilNadu on the situation?” Stalin added, targeting the ‘incompetent’ Edapaddi K Palaniswami-led government.

Also read | Madras High Court stays expansion of Vedanta’s Sterlite plant in Tuticorin

He further tweeted, “Where does the final accountability lie for the brutal murder of at least 11 Tamils? Will @CMOTamilNadu take action against DGP for failing to maintain law and order? Will Chief Secretary explain her role in this entire episode? Will there be justice for #SterliteProtest?”

The Union Home Ministry, meanwhile, sought a report from the state government on the incident.

The agitation against the expansion of the Sterlite plant entered the 100th day on Tuesday with protesters marching towards the collectorate demanding closure of the plant. Residents and activists in the city claim the plant’s operations have contaminated the groundwater, leading to serious health problems.

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan has also questioned the decision to open fire at protesters in Tuticorin yesterday. “We must know who ordered this firing. It is not me but the victims who are demanding this. Merely announcing compensation isn’t a solution,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI, after he met those wounded at a local hospital in the city.

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