Rajinikanth has reached Tuticorin to visit those injured in the police firing that claimed 13 lives. “I am going to the hospital in Thoothukudi to visit the injured. It is just a goodwill gesture,” ANI quoted the superstar, who intends to launch a political party and fight elections as saying.
Strongly criticising the Tamil Nadu government over the incident, the usually diplomatic actor openly blamed the government for not paying heed to the demands of the people and held the government responsible for the violence in the state. “It is saddening that lives have been lost due to the government’s lethargy in heeding the demands of the people. This should be reprimanded. The Tamil Nadu government is responsible for the violence and the deaths of common people.”
— Raj!n! Followers™ (@RajiniFollowers) May 30, 2018
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The Tamil Nadu government has drawn strong criticism from the Opposition after police fired on hundreds of protesters who marched to the Tuticorin collectorate on May 22 demanding the closure of the Sterlite Copper plant over pollution fears. Opposition MLAs, led by DMK working president and Leader of Opposition M K Stalin, on Tuesday boycotted the Tamil Nadu Assembly session and sought the resignations of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and DGP T K Rajendran, and murder charges to be slapped on senior police officers involved in the incident.
The incident led to the shut down of the Vedanta group plant permanently on government orders. Stalin said the government was staging a drama on the issue and called the judicial probe into the police firing an eyewash. He said the government’s decision to shut down the factory was also an eyewash as the order in this regard, issued on Monday, did not follow due legal procedures that will stand before the court.
However, Palaniswami, in the Assembly, read out a report detailing steps taken by the government to resolve the protest and how the violence took place. Explaining how Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board denied green consent for the factory and listing out instances when the district collector and administration met protesters and appealed them to call off the agitation, the chief minister alleged DMK’s role behind the violence. Asserting that it was a peaceful protest, the chief minister alleged that 200-odd people led by DMK MLA Geetha Jeevan joined the march and sparked violence.