Sterlite protest in Tuticorin: Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Vishal, Dhanush condole deaths, condemn gunfire

Surendhar MK

May 23, 2018 11:27:02 IST

As the death toll in Tuticorin's gunfire incident against anti-Sterlite protesters has increased to 11, the entire Tamil film industry has been mourning the demise of the victims and registered their deepest condolences to the bereaved family members on their respective social media pages.

A rough translation of Superstar Rajinikanth's tweet read: "This government's inaction and their indifference towards the sentiments of people has resulted in the loss of lives by gunfire. I'm deeply saddened, and this is a condemnable act. Tamil Nadu government is solely responsible for the violence and deaths."

People in Tuticorin have been staging peaceful protests for nearly 100 days to seek the permanent closure of Vedanta's Sterlite Copper unit in the district, citing that it causes hazardous health effects to the locals. The protests intensified on Tuesday when the Tamil Nadu cops opened fire at the protesters, leaving 11 people dead and a lot more injured.

Condemning the open fire by the TN police force, Kamal Haasan, founder, and president of Makkal Needhi Maiam said, "The peaceful protest by the people of Tuticorin against Sterlite, demanding justice, was ignored by the governments. Negligence of the governments is the reason for all the unfortunate incidents. Citizens are not criminals. They are ones who lose their lives; earlier due to Sterlite and now due to the government’s orders. Everybody should maintain peace!"

Actor Vishal subtly warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be aware of the parliamentary elections in 2019. In an official statement, Vishal said,  "I strongly condemn the brutal killing of innocent lives during the ongoing Sterlite protest in Tuticorin. My deepest condolences. The protest is done for a social cause not for personal goals. If 50,000 people are protesting against Sterlite, it means there is unity among people to stop something which is against the welfare of the people of Tuticorin. Dear Prime Minister, please break your silence at least now. As BJP says, protest is a form of Democracy, why can't people do the same. Govt is supposed to be "For The People" & not otherwise 2019 please be aware." [SIC]

Dhanush, who was attending the world premiere of his international project The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir in Paris, took to his Twitter page and posted: "The sentiments of the people who fight against Sterlite should be respected. They should receive justice. People who are responsible for this incident should be censured and punished. I express my deepest condolences to the bereaved families who have lost their dear ones."

A reticent Vijay Sethupathi released a statement in Tamil condemning the deaths. A rough translation read, "When I heard about the gunfire on the people who fought for the well-being of everyone, I was sad and depressed. It made me angry. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families" RJ Balaji, who has always been incredibly supportive of people's protests in the state, took to his micro-blogging page and posted, "What happened in Thoothukudi is absolute shock. Shooting of innocent people by police is such a shame. Some of our own lost their lives. Sad to see people’s peaceful protests ending in violence cos of fringe elements. God be little more kind to Thoothukudi and all of us in Tamilnadu." [SIC] Filmmaker Karthik Subbaraj said he is really scared by the state's administration and their governance.

Senior actor Sathyaraj released a video message to register his condolences. "We should analyse and decide whether a capitalist who is living somewhere is important or the people of Tamil Nadu who reside in the state is. I strongly condemn this dastardly attack. More than 10 people have been killed, including a girl student. I registered by deepest condolences to everyone as one of you," said Sathyaraj.

Actor Krishna said, "#SterliteProtest Gunning down people in the name of restoring order is not something TN is used to. The state needs a leader and a change. I strongly condemn the methods. My condolences to the near n dear ones of the Victims." [SIC]

An outspoken GV Prakash looked visibly upset at the press meet of Sema, which happened when the gun firing incident was reported yesterday. Requesting everyone to observe a minute of silence to pay respects to the victims of the open fire, Prakash said, "It's very disgusting. An inhuman act of violence. We got to know about the incident only after the press meet was organized. I feel really bad for the families who have lost their dear ones. Killing protesters who peacefully fought for their rights is a crime and horrible act. Both the police force and government are responsible for this, and they owe answers to everyone."

Updated Date: May 23, 2018 11:28:15 IST