DMK working president Stalin walks out of Tamil Nadu Assembly after being refused a chance to speak on Sterlite protests

Chennai: The violent anti-sterlite protests in Tuticorin once again echoed in the state Assembly on Thursday, with opposition DMK staging a walkout from the House on being denied permission to raise some issue.

The government asked the main opposition party to approach the one-man inquiry commission headed by retired Madras High Court Judge Aruna Jagadeesan, which is probing the violence and police firing during protests against the Sterlite unit in the southern district that claimed 13 lives.

When Leader of the Opposition MK Stalin wanted to raise some issue in connection with the 22 May incident, Speaker P Dhanapal initially denied permission saying "enough debate" has been made on the matter and that even Chief Minister K Palaniswamy had responded to it on the floor of the House.

File image of DMK working president MK Stalin. PTI

File image of DMK working president MK Stalin. PTI

However, after much persuasion from DMK, he allowed Stalin to make some remarks, before cutting him short and expunging the comments, saying they were related to the Commission. Miffed over not being allowed to talk, Stalin announced staging a walkout, with his colleagues joining him. However, his party allies in Congress and IUML stayed back.

Later, the Chief Minister said the DMK should approach the commission and submit whatever matter they wanted to on the issue before it. Noting that a case pertaining to the issue was pending in the Madras High Court, Palaniswami said it was a normal practice not to debate matters that were sub-judice, in the House.

"It is not a practice to debate sub-judice matters," he said, adding, DMK Deputy Leader Durai Murugan, as Minister in the past, had also clarified in this regard. Later, quoting the Assembly rules, the Speaker said no discussion would be held on matters being probed by an inquiry commission.

13 people were killed in police firing on 22 and 23 May when violence broke out during protest by locals demanding closure of Sterlite Industries in Tuticorin district over pollution issues.

The Tamil Nadu government had last month appointed a one-person Commission of Inquiry headed by a retired judge of the Madras High Court to probe the violence in Tuticorin.

The government had said inquiry will cover the "law and order incidents following the siege of the District Collectorate by thousands of persons violating prohibitory orders."


Updated Date: Jun 07, 2018 16:52 PM

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