June 1, 2018
Chennai : The Madras High Court has ordered the Tamil Nadu government to explain as to why police fired at protesters at Toothukudi, killing 13 of them, within five days. The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court gave this direction on Friday asking the state government to state the reasons for the May22 police firing.
The court’s directives came when it was hearing petitions for registration of murder cases against senior police officials for the firing and also seeking the setting up of a special investigative team to probe the incident and situations leading to the police firing.
Even till days passions in Tamil Nadu are on the rise after police shot and killed 13 protesters at Tutucorin who were demanding the closure of the Sterlite Copper Smelter plant there. The firing and police brutality left another 60 injured.
In fact, now even chief minister Edapadi Palaniswami maintained that the people were protesting peacefully against the company for a long time. But some anti-social elements had turned the movement violent, the chief minister claimed. It is because of the instigation of the masses by the anti-social elements that so many people had died, the chief minister maintained.
This is more or less in tune with film star turned politician Rajinikanth who also questioned the militant and unruly and rowdy elements in Tuticorin who turned the protest into violent one and instigated the masses.
In fact, this Rajinikanth statement criticising the protesters of Tuticorin has not gone down well with either the protesters or with the masses or with opposition leaders who declared that Rajinikanth was only speaking the BJP language.
In fact, union minister Pon Radhakrishnan, who has been maintaining for the past one and half years that Toothukudi has turned into a den of anti-social elements and that extremists had infiltrated into the movement, took serious exception to the criticism of Rajinikanth in some quarters. In fact the entire opposition led by DMK working president MK Stalin castigated the superstar for speaking on behalf of the BJP, which the opposition in TN alleges is the driving force behind the AIADMK government in the state.
With today the chief minister also speaking in similar language, now there is speculation if the AIADMK, Rajinikanth and the BJP would be working together in 2019 general elections. The BJP is seriously looking for allies in Tamil Nadu, which sends a huge contingent of 39 MPs to Lok Sabha. In fact, the AIADMK is the third largest party in the Lok Sabha after the BJP and the Congress with 37 MPs.