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Anti-Sterlite protest: Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan and Dhanush slam government, condemn killings

People of Thoothukudi have been protesting against the setting up of a new copper smelter by Sterlite Industries over concerns of groundwater pollution.

regional movies Updated: May 23, 2018 13:20 IST
Haricharan Pudipeddi
Haricharan Pudipeddi
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Anti-Sterlite protest,Rajinikanth,Kamal Haasan
Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan and a host of other stars from Kollywood lashed out at the government over the deaths in Tuticorin. (PTI)

The protest in Tuticorin, after protesters took to streets over the closure of Vedanta group’s Sterlite Copper plant over pollution concerns, took a violent turn on Tuesday. Nine people were reportedly killed in police action. Following the unfortunate turn of events, actors such as Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan and Dhanush expressed their deepest condolences for the victims, while slamming the government’s inaction in the matter.

Rajinikanth took to Twitter and wrote in Tamil: “This is a condemnable act, and I’m deeply saddened. This loss of lives by gunfire is due to government’s inaction and their indifference towards the sentiments of the people. Tamil Nadu government is responsible for the violence and deaths. Government’s lackadaisical ways have led to the deaths of innocents.”

Actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan, the founder and president of Makkal Needhi Maiam party, said via a statement: “The peaceful protest by the people of Tuticorin against Sterlite, demanding justice, was ignored by the governments. Negligence of the Governments is the reason for all the unfortunate incidents. Citizens are not criminals. They are ones who lose their lives; earlier due to Sterlite and now due to the Government’s orders. Everybody should maintain peace!”

Read: Madras HC stays work at Sterlite unit after 9 protesters killed in police firing

He also tweeted about the killings.

Dhanush, who is at the world premiere of his international project The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir in Paris, took to his Twitter page and wrote in Tamil: “I express my deepest condolences to the bereaved families. The sentiments of the people who fight against Sterlite should be respected. They should receive justice. People who are responsible for this incident should be punished.”

Saddened by the death of the protestors, actor Arvind Swami took to Twitter and expressed his condolences to the families and those affected.

Actor Vishal via a statement expressed his sincere condolences to those who lost their lives. He said: “I strongly condemn the brutal killing of innocent lives during the ongoing Sterlite protest in Tuticorin. My deepest condolences. The protest is done for a social cause not for personal goals. If 50,000 people are protesting against Sterlite, it means there is unity among people to stop something which is against the welfare of the people of Tuticorin. Dear Prime Minister, pleas break your silence at least now. As BJP says, protest is a form of Democracy, why can’t people do the same. Govt is supposed to be “For The People” & not otherwise. 2019 please be aware.”

Here’s what stars GV Prakash, Sidharth and music composer Santosh Narayanan had to say:

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First Published: May 23, 2018 13:17 IST