Chennai: In an official statement released by the Tamil Nadu Government, the government officials have said that “To bring the violence under control, under unavoidable circumstances, police had to take action. To maintain law and order additional police personnel have been sent to Tuticorin.”
Earlier on Tuesday, about 11 people died in police firing after thousands of people, demanding permanent closure of a copper smelting plant in the port city of Tuticorin. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami later ordered a judicial inquiry into the violence and police firing.
Locals have been protesting against the Sterlite plant since last three months alleging the plant for polluting groundwater. According to local reports, around 5000 protesters gathered near a local church and insisted on taking out a rally to the district collector’s office after they were denied permission to march to the copper smelter plant.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi called the police action “state sponsored terrorism”. The gunning down by the police of 9 people in the Sterlite Protest in Tamil Nadu, is a brutal example of state sponsored terrorism. These citizens were murdered for protesting against injustice,” he tweeted.
The gunning down by the police of 9 people in the #SterliteProtest in Tamil Nadu, is a brutal example of state sponsored terrorism. These citizens were murdered for protesting against injustice. My thoughts & prayers are with the families of these martyrs and the injured.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 22, 2018
Chief Minister Palaniswami’ issued a statement saying “The police had to take action under unavoidable circumstances to protect public life and property as the protesters resorted to repeated violence… police had to control the violence.”
Superstar Rajinikanth also tweeted blaming the government for ignoring “peaceful protests”. “Citizens are not criminals… They are the ones who lose their lives,” Kamal Haasan said. Rajinikanth also held the government responsible for the loss of lives. “I am sad over loss of lives in firing caused due to the government’s indifference,” Rajinikanth tweeted.
மக்களின் உணர்வுகளை மதிக்காத இந்த அரசின் அலட்சியப்போக்கின் விளைவாக இன்று பொதுமக்கள் சுடப்பட்டு உயிரிழப்புகள் ஏற்பட்டிருப்பது மிகவும் வருந்தத்தக்கது, கண்டிக்கத்தக்கது.நடந்த வன்முறை மற்றும் பொது ஜன உயிரிழப்புகளுக்கு தமிழகஅரசே பொறுப்பு.
— Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth) May 22, 2018
Makkal Needhi Maiam Chief Kamal Haasan is also set to visit Thoothukudi.