New Delhi, May 30: Actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth on Wednesday said that Tamil Nadu will turn into a cemetery if people undertake protest for each and everything. Talking to news agency ANI, Rajinikanth said, “The entire problem started after anti-social elements attacked police and burned down Collector’s office, as a result, peaceful protesters were killed. If you undertake protest for each and everything, Tamil Nadu will be turned into a cemetery.”
Earlier in the day, Rajnikanth had visited Thoothukudi and offered Rs 2 Lakh as compensation to the families of those killed in police firing during the anti-Sterlite protest earlier this month.
Earlier, the Tamil Nadu government cancelled the land allotment for the expansion of Vedanta group’s copper plant “in larger public interest” and ordered a CB-CID probe into the violence that left 13 people dead. Chief Minister K Palaniswami told the state Assembly that the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu Ltd (SIPCOT) had issued the order canceling the land allotment. The move followed the state government’s order to its Pollution Control Board to seal and ‘permanently’ close the Sterlite Copper plant following protests over pollution concerns. (ALSO READ:Anti-Sterlite Protest: Tamil Nadu Government Submits Report to HM)
The protest had been going on for months and turned violent last week when protesters were not allowed to march up to the plant. Agitated protestors then started to pelt stones and toppled police vehicles. They had reportedly gheraoed the Collector’s office and torched vehicles. Police then resorted to lathi-charge and tear gas to disperse the crowd. Reports also said they were seen armed with assault rifles and the deaths were attributed to police firing.
The Madras High Court had put a stay order on the construction of Vedanta Ltd’s Copper Smelter Plant 2 at Tuticorin, some 650 km from Chennai. The Madurai bench of the High Court gave this direction on a PIL against the expansion of the company’s plant. The court had also issued a notice to the CBI on a PIL seeking a probe by the agency into the police firing. Both Thoothukudi SP and collector were transferred after the incident.