CM accuses DMK of instigating Sterlite protesters

Updated: 04:17 GMT, Jun 2, 2018 | Published: 07:17 GMT, May 30, 2018 |

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Tuesday accused the DMK of instigating the anti-Sterlite protesters in Thoothukudi on May 22.

Speaking in the Assembly, he said DMK legislator P. Geetha Jeevan (Thoothukudi constituency) had led a rally of about 200 persons in the coastal town on that day, in defiance of prohibitory orders.

However, Mr. Palaniswami did not, even once, mention that 13 persons had died in police firing. Instead, both in his hour-long reply to a special call attention motion on the issue and a report tabled in the House, he merely stated that 13 people had died without responding to treatment in hospital.

Claiming that all precautionary measures were taken by the police, he said the protesters had breached the security cordon in at least five places in Thoothukudi on the 100th day of the anti-Sterlite agitation. About 20,000 people had gathered on that day. “Under unavoidable circumstances, the police were forced to take action,” he said.

The protesters were instigated by anti-social elements, he said, and pointed out that even a car of a DMK functionary accompanying Opposition leader M.K. Stalin during the latter’s visit to Thoothukudi was attacked. The locals were against the DMK, he claimed.

Blaming the DMK for having allowed the expansion of the Sterlite Copper unit (which was started during the AIADMK regime), Mr. Palaniswami said the company was first granted 100 acres and later 200 acres by the Karunanidhi regime. And, whenever the plant was closed, the AIADMK was in power, he pointed out.

The DMK members were not present in the House, as they had staged a walkout.

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