High drama unfolded outside the Tamil Nadu chief minister E Palaniswami's office on Thursday when DMK working president MK Stalin was forcibly evicted from the area after he led a protest by party leaders for not getting an appointment with Palaniswami over Sterlite protests in Thoothukudi. Stalin was detained for staging protest oustide Palaniswami's office.
Stalin had demanded the resignation of Palaniswami and DGP TK Rajendran over the anti-Sterlite violence at Tuticorin in which 13 people were killed and over 100 injured. He had said Palaniswami and Rajendran should take moral responsibility for the incident and resign.
Reacting to the forceful eviction, Stalin said, "I'm not scared of getting arrested. I knew this will happen. They have already killed 13 people. If they want they can kill me too. DMK and Congress have been protesting for Tuticorin as it has been in a terrible condition. For the sake of it, the collector has made a few changes but no action has been taken against the police. The chief minister has still not visited the victims, this proves how terrible the government is. We have seen many governments like MGR, Anna, Kamraj and Kalaignar, when they were in power but at least then chief ministers took action in such situations.
Breaking his silence over the killing of 11 people in police firing in Tuticorin, Palaniswami on Thursday accused rival political parties of "instigating" violence. The chief minister said power supply to the plant was discontinued following a direction from the state's pollution control board. Palaniswami claimed some anti-social elements had infiltrated the anti-Sterlite plant protesters and unleashed violence.
Terming the incidents as "unfortunate," he condoled the deaths and said all past agitations for the closure of the plant were peaceful. "This time round it (protest) turned violent. It was due to instigation by some political parties and owing to infiltration by anti-social elements," Palaniswamy, who is under relentless attack from the Opposition, said.
Recalling steps taken by the AIADMK governments for the closure of the plant, Palaniswami said the "deliberate" violence was meant "to bring disrepute to the government and put it under pressure". He said the state government was making efforts for the closure of the plant since 2013, when late J Jayalalithaa was the chief minister.
"As far as Amma's government is concerned, we respect people's feelings," he said, adding all legal steps were under way to shut the Sterlite plant, and cases were pending before the Supreme Court and High Court. Last month, he said, the Pollution Control Board did not renew the Consent to Operate (CTO) the Sterlite Copper's plant. The copper smelting unit was not functional, he said, seeking to assuage people's concerns over the factory polluting ground water in the area.
He deplored that despite the government's efforts for the closure of the factory, "people belonging to some outfits and opposition parties are instigating innocent people". The chief minister said district authorities have had 14 meetings with the agitators over the past four to five months where they explained to the locals steps being undertaken to shut the plant. He said advertisements were published in newspapers on 14 April detailing measures the government had taken for its closure.
Let's shoot guns, says Stalin
In series of tweets, Stalin urged the citizens to rise against the "anarchy police". "We are conducting a struggle to besiege the Secretariat, which is conducting the worst administration in order to convince these brutal rulers that the repression of the people can not be broken. If you want to disrupt the fight there, the struggle will take place here. Let's shoot the guns, the anarchy police and the representatives of the people towards us. DMK will continue its struggle to have justice."
அடக்குமுறையால் மக்களின் உணர்வுகளை நொறுக்கிவிட முடியாது என்பதை இந்தக் கொடூர ஆட்சியாளர்களுக்கு உணர்த்துவதற்காகத்தான் அவர்கள் மோசமான நிர்வாகத்தை நடத்துகின்ற தலைமைச் செயலகத்தை முற்றுகையிடும் போராட்டத்தை மேற்கொண்டுள்ளோம்.#SteriliteProtest pic.twitter.com/M9hsFdccdK
— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) May 24, 2018
அங்கே போராட்டத்தை முடக்க நினைத்தால்,இங்கே போராட்டம் நடக்கும்.மக்களை நோக்கித் துப்பாக்கியால் சுட்ட,அராஜக காவல்துறையினர்,மக்கள் பிரதிநிதிகளான எங்கள் மீது துப்பாக்கி சூடு நடத்திப் பார்க்கட்டும். நீதி கிடைக்கும்வரை தி.மு.கழகம் தனது போராட்டத்தைத் தொடரும் #TuticorinShootout pic.twitter.com/pUquhub8JW — M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) May 24, 2018
The TN Govt has been unable to give answers to #TuticorinMassacre. We will ensure the protestors' and peoples' voices from Tuticorin are heard in Chennai. Our fight against this #IncompetentEPS Govt will NOT stop till the resignations of the CM and DGP. #SterliteProtest
— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) May 24, 2018
Updated Date: May 24, 2018 15:15:49 IST