TN Opposition leaders condemn police firing, demand closure of Sterlite unit

Updated - May 22, 2018 05:09 pm IST

Published - May 22, 2018 05:02 pm IST - CHENNAI

 DMK working president M.K. Stalin.

DMK working president M.K. Stalin.

Leaders of opposition parties in Tamil Nadu condemned Tuesday’s police firing against protesters who were demanding the closure of the Sterlite Copper unit in Thoothukudi district and unanimously backed the demand of the local people.

“The situation has reached such a pass because of the AIADMK government’s plan to suppress the protest against the unit. It is highly condemnable that the government had not taken any precautionary measures. It is fully responsible for the untoward incidents,” DMK working president M.K. Stalin said while demanding immediate closure of the factory.

PMK founder S. Ramadoss said the state government should accept the just demand of the people and take steps to close the factory.

“The factory has witnessed gas leaks hundred of times since it was launched in 1994; 139 workers were injured and 13 workers were killed (over the years). There are also deaths that went unrecorded,” he said adding that it was the government’s duty to close the factory that had been causing damage to the environment.

Dr. Ramadoss also demanded ₹25 lakh compensation to the kin of those killed in the firing.

CPI (M) state secretary K. Balakrishnan alleged that the police resorted to firing on the people who organised a protest in a peaceful manner. “Police unleashed violence against women and children. Nobody will accept police firing on peaceful protestors. The government should take steps to close the factory permanently,” he said in a statement.

Pointing out that police action would not stop the people’s protest, Dravidar Kazhagam president K. Veeramani demanded the closure of the factory.

Accusing Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami of adopting oppressive measures instead of understanding people’s sentiments, Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader T.T.V. Dhinakaran said closing the factory alone would be an ideal solution.

“We will organise an indefinite fast till the government issues orders for its closure,” he said.

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