June 28, 2018
Chennai : Yoga guru Baba Ramdev and spiritual guru Jaggi Vasudev of Coimbatore came in for some sharp criticism for their support to Vedanta group company, Sterlite Copper smelter plant in Tuticorin, and wanted the reopening of the plant. Thirteen protesters were shot and killed by police in the town, an incident that led to the permanent closure of the plant that was causing environmental pollution and posing severe health risk to the villagers living in areas surrounding the plant.
The two lifestyle gurus came out openly in support of the owners of the Vedanta group, sparking a fresh wave of anger among the protesters who were pacified that the plant was closed permanently. But the statements from people, perceived to be close to the Prime Minister and the central government, has set the alarm bells ringing among the villagers.
Moving swiftly, Tamil Nadu government reiterated on Wednesday that the Sterlite plant in Tuticorin was closed down permanently. State fisheries minister D Jayakumar declared that the plant, that was closed due to protests over environmental hazards, has been permanently closed. “The Tamil Nadu government does not care about the views of Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev and Spiritual guru Jaggi Vasudev,” the minister said.
On Wednesday Jaggi Vasudev tweeted, “am not an expert on copper smelting but I know India has an immense use for copper. If we don’t produce our own, of course we will buy from China. Ecological violations can be addressed legally. Lynching large businesses is economic suicide.”
“Sterlite plant will not be reopened. We’ve taken a firm stand. We don’t care about the views of Ramdev and Sadhguru,” said Jayakumar. “Sterlite has been permanently closed,” he added. The plant was shutdown after police firing killed 13 protesters on May 22 and 23.
Baba Ramdev had also tweeted in support of the Sterlite plant after meeting Anil Agarwal, the executive chairman of Vedanta that owns the plant. He had met Agarwal in London.
“International conspirators created ruckus at one of Vedanta’s plant in South of India through innocent local people. Industries are the temples of development for the nation. They should not be closed,” the yoga guru tweeted.