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Updated: March 28, 2013 15:13 IST

Vaiko arrested for attempting to lay siege to Sterlite

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In this March 25, 2013, MDMK general secretary Vaiko and other party leaders are arrested by police personnel during their demonstration near the Tuticorin Collectorate protesting against the Sterlite Industries. Photo: N. Rajesh
The Hindu In this March 25, 2013, MDMK general secretary Vaiko and other party leaders are arrested by police personnel during their demonstration near the Tuticorin Collectorate protesting against the Sterlite Industries. Photo: N. Rajesh

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko and a group of people were arrested on Thursday after they attempted to lay siege to Sterlite Copper Plant in Tuticorin demanding its closure following alleged noxious gas leak, police said.

Mr. Vaiko said he had been fighting for the past 18 years for closure of the plant to protect the residents.

Farm lands had turned non-cultivable and fishery resources have been badly affected owing to pollution, Mr. Vaiko said, adding that there is no alternative, but to close the plant immediately.

He alleged that the leakage of sulphur dioxide from the plant had caused detrimental effects to public health and many people living in Tuticorin complained of suffocation, sneezing and burning sensation in their eyes.

Residents in Tuticorin were complaining of breathlessness and eye irritation for the last few days and they suspected leakage of noxious gas from the plant.

However, the company officials had on Wednesday said that its plant operations were “absolutely safe” and they adhered to highest standards of safety.

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Quite beside the fact that Vedanta is a habitual environment criminal and it is absolutely imperative that particularly harsh punitive measures against this company are called for, it is absolutely ridiculous that the state apprehends politicians and activists trying to restore people's right to a safe and clean environment. A state slip up like this, even if symbolic, sends a dangerous signal to toxic industry that they can get away with murder. And yes, we all know that Vedanta is a compulsive environment criminal, at Niyamgiri and elsewhere and they will surely read this as state protection. If nothing else, we know from experience that Vedanta flouts laws, bypasses clearances, fabricates compliance and hires paid assassins to suppress protest. I think people's resistance to such companies need encouragement and support from the media and that the state should play an observer's role.

from:  Arnab Sen
Posted on: Mar 28, 2013 at 21:58 IST

No other leader has the guts, like VAIKO, to raise his/her
voice and espouse the cause of one and all. It is VAIKO, who has all
along been in the forefront of all agitations, which are to protect
the Tamil & Tamilians. Be it Mullaiperiyar Issue or GAIL Pipeline
Issue or Cauvery River Water issue or Prohibition Agitation or the
Cause for SRILANKAN TAMILS, VAIKO, having mobilised the support the
public, has been in the field. He is not a mere 'LETTER WRITING'
LEADER; He is the field worker. People of BHOPAL, is yet to
recover, after 25 years of struggle, from the leakage of "METHYIL ISO
CYANIDE" from Union Carbide. Now people of Southern District of
Tamil Nadu are facing similar situation because of "AMMONIUM NITRATE"
and allied chemicals, which are polluting the basic elixirs of life in
Southern Districts of Tamil Nadu. Agitation of VAIKO & the People of
TUTICORIN is genuine.

from:  ponnambalam
Posted on: Mar 28, 2013 at 18:07 IST
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