Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Thursday said that the anti-Sterlite protests in Thoothukudi were instigated by Opposition parties and anti-social elements for vested interests.
Speaking to reporters outside the Tamil Nadu Secretariat, Mr. Palaniswami said, "The Tamil Nadu government has been taking steps to shut down the Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi through legal means."
The Chief Minister also denied claims that the police firing carried out during the protests on May 22 was a planned one.
“I am deeply pained by the loss of precious lives during the agitation at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu. The Ministry of Home Affairs has taken cognisance of the situation and has sought a report on the incident, and the prevailing situation from the State government,” Mr. Palaniswami said.
“My thoughts are with the bereaved families. I also pray for the speedy recovery of the injured. I appeal to the people in Thoothukudi to remain calm and maintain peace and tranquility in the region,” he added.
When asked about DMK working president Stalin’s arrest, he expressed surprise over the latter’s protest near his office. “Only a few minutes earlier we were together in the Assembly Business Advisory Committee meeting,” said Mr. Palaniswami.