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Thoothukudi police firing: Let's shoot guns, tweets Stalin after forceful eviction from E Palaniswami's office

Thoothukudi police firing: Let's shoot guns, tweets Stalin after forceful eviction from E Palaniswami's office

High drama unfolded outside the Tamil Nadu chief minister E Palaniswami's office on Thursday when DMK working president MK Stalin was forcibly evicted from the area after he led a protest by party leaders for not getting an appointment with Palaniswami over Sterlite protests in Thoothukudi. Stalin was detained for staging protest oustide Palaniswami's office.

Stalin had demanded the resignation of Palaniswami and DGP TK Rajendran over the anti-Sterlite violence at Tuticorin in which 13 people were killed and over 100 injured. He had said Palaniswami and Rajendran should take moral responsibility for the incident and resign.

Reacting to the forceful eviction, Stalin said, "I'm not scared of getting arrested. I knew this will happen. They have already killed 13 people. If they want they can kill me too. DMK and Congress have been protesting for Tuticorin as it has been in a terrible condition. For the sake of it, the collector has made a few changes but no action has been taken against the police. The chief minister has still not visited the victims, this proves how terrible the government is. We have seen many governments like MGR, Anna, Kamraj and Kalaignar, when they were in power but at least then chief ministers took action in such situations.

Terming the incidents as "unfortunate," he condoled the deaths and said all past agitations for the closure of the plant were peaceful. "This time round it (protest) turned violent. It was due to instigation by some political parties and owing to infiltration by anti-social elements," Palaniswamy, who is under relentless attack from the Opposition, said.Breaking his silence over the killing of 11 people in police firing in Tuticorin, Palaniswami on Thursday accused rival political parties of "instigating" violence. The chief minister said power supply to the plant was discontinued following a direction from the state's pollution control board. Palaniswami claimed some anti-social elements had infiltrated the anti-Sterlite plant protesters and unleashed violence.

Recalling steps taken by the AIADMK governments for the closure of the plant, Palaniswami said the "deliberate" violence was meant "to bring disrepute to the government and put it under pressure". He said the state government was making efforts for the closure of the plant since 2013, when late J Jayalalithaa was the chief minister.

"As far as Amma's government is concerned, we respect people's feelings," he said, adding all legal steps were under way to shut the Sterlite plant, and cases were pending before the Supreme Court and High Court. Last month, he said, the Pollution Control Board did not renew the Consent to Operate (CTO) the Sterlite Copper's plant. The copper smelting unit was not functional, he said, seeking to assuage people's concerns over the factory polluting ground water in the area.

He deplored that despite the government's efforts for the closure of the factory, "people belonging to some outfits and opposition parties are instigating innocent people". The chief minister said district authorities have had 14 meetings with the agitators over the past four to five months where they explained to the locals steps being undertaken to shut the plant. He said advertisements were published in newspapers on 14 April detailing measures the government had taken for its closure.

Let's shoot guns, says Stalin

In series of tweets, Stalin urged the citizens to rise against the "anarchy police". "We are conducting a struggle to besiege the Secretariat, which is conducting the worst administration in order to convince these brutal rulers that the repression of the people can not be broken. If you want to disrupt the fight there, the struggle will take place here. Let's shoot the guns, the anarchy police and the representatives of the people towards us. DMK will continue its struggle to have justice."

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