May 24, 2018
The Tamil Nadu state government’s allegedly inept and insensitive handling of the Sterlite protests came in for heavy condemnation from the opposition that sought the immediate resignation of the “BJP’s puppet government” here. The opposition parties also called for a Tamil Nadu bandh on Friday.
The row over killing of 13 protesters in police firing, raised serious questions about the police action and how its personnel fired above the chest when the clear cut objective of the police should be bring the situation under control by aiming and firing below the waist, questioned a senior DMK leader.
DMK leader and Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi trained her guns on the BJP which she said was remote-controlling the government here in Chennai and alleged that the Sterlite factory was able to thrive because of the support it received from central and state governments. It must be known as to who ordered the police firing that killed 13 protesters, Kanimozhi said.
This question was ducked by the new Tuticorin collector Sandeep Nanduri who told media persons that after the government had ordered a one-man inquiry committee, it would improper of him to make any comment on the issue. He too confirmed that power supply to the company was stopped at 5 a.m Thursday.
Sterlite company meanwhile maintained that it was not informed of the stopping of power supply. It is likely to come out with a press statement during the course of the day.
Meanwhile, the administration cracked down on protesters as also snapped internet connectivity three districts of Tuticorin, Madurai and Kanyakumari in a bid to prevent rumour mongering and spread of visuals and videos of police action that were going viral on the social media.
The protests in Tuticorin attracted national attention with the media focusing the strike that crossed the 100-day mark. The police action was condemned universally, but the company tried to distance itself from the whole episode.
Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu electricity department cut power supply to the company on court orders and it is only after the report of the one-man probe submitted its report.
In Chennai, the DMK stepped up its agitation over the police killings of the protesters and demanded the immediate resignation of the Edapaddi Palaniswami government. DMK working president MK Stalin criticised the government and the CM for not even visiting the spot and talking to the victims and instead seemingly supporting the police action. Mere transferring of officials is not enough the guilty ones must be punished said MDMK leader Vaiko, who was also among the leaders taken into custody in Chennai. Stalin was also taken into custody. They were booked under various sections.
Rebel AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran and actor turned politician Kamal Haasan too stepped up the ante on Thursday. Dhinakaran went around calling on the relatives of the 13 people killed in police firing.