New Delhi, June 4: Actor-turned politician Kamal Haasan on Sunday disagreed with superstar Rajinikanth’s remarks that Tamil Nadu would turn into a grave yard if there were protests on all issues. Responding to a question about his views on Thalaiva’s statement, Haasan reportedly said,“If protesters are anti-social, so am I.” Makkal Needhi Maiam president further added that protests are not about fighting with guns and knives but even if guns are brought out, people should have the character to face them with an open heart.
“Protests were a good path, but if there is violence in protests, it (violence) should reduce. But protests should neither reduce nor stop,” The Hindu quoted Haasan as saying. The actor made these remarks at the Chennai airport before leaving for a meeting with Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Monday.
Earlier on May 30, while speaking on the anti-Sterlite protest, Rajinikanth had 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.”
Last month, 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 cancelling 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. Meanwhile, the Home Ministry has sought a report from the government as to what led to deaths in the protest.
The probe was also transferred from police to the Crime Branch-CID police, a senior official told PTI. In a related development, state Governor Banwarilal Purohit visited the kin of some of those killed in the police firings on May 22 and 23 and also met the injured at a government hospital.