Sterlite violence rocks Tamil Nadu assembly; DMK picks holes in closure order
Leader of the Opposition, MK Stalin, attired in black, targeted the state government for issuing a government order for the closure of the copper unit in Tuticorin rather than convening the cabinet and taking a policy decision in this regard.india Updated: May 29, 2018 15:39 IST
The Tamil Nadu Assembly was on Tuesday witnessed an uproar over the Tuticorin violence, which claimed 13 lives, with the opposition DMK staging a walkout from the House demanding “permanent closure” of the Vedanta group’s copper plant in that district.
Soon after the question hour, Leader of the Opposition, MK Stalin, attired in black, targeted the state government for issuing a government order for the closure of the copper unit in Tuticorin rather than convening the cabinet and taking a policy decision in this regard.
Calling the issuance of the order an “eye wash,” tantamount to signalling the Sterlite management to approach the court on the matter, the DMK leader said the move was similar to what was done in 2013 in the issue.
Stalin had on Monday said that the plant had been closed in 2013 too but was reopened later.
The Tamil Nadu government had on Monday ordered the state Pollution Control Board to seal and “permanently” close the Sterlite Copper plant following last week’s protests, over pollution concerns, during which 13 people were killed in police firing.
Blaming the government for not holding talks with the people and seeking the resignation of Chief Minister K Palaniswami, the DMK working president said his party will boycott the House proceedings till the plant was “permanently closed.”
Later, he led his party colleagues in staging a walkout who shouted slogans in support of the resignation of the chief minister.
The DMK members were dressed in black, which they said, was to signify their protest and grief over the firings.
The opposition party has refused to toe the government line that the unit was closed permanently.
Meanwhile, the chief minister condoled the deaths of 13 people and tabled a five-page report detailing the violence and steps taken by the government in this regard.
Congress legislature party leader K Ramasamy said the probe into the issue should be done properly or transferred to the CBI. He also wanted unconditional withdrawal of all cases in this regard.
Asking the government to own up responsibility over the loss of 13 lives, he said the government should resign.
Large-scale violence on May 22 against the Sterlite copper plant in Tuticorin and police firing led to the death of 12 persons. The next day saw one more youth succumbing to injuries sustained in police firing.