TN CM blames oppn, NGOs for Thoothukudi deaths
Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], May 24 : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E. Palaniswami on Thursday blamed opposition parties, NGOs and anti-social elements for the killing of the 13 people in anti-Sterlite protests in Thoothukudi on May 22. "The entire episode which happened was primarily because of certain political parties, NGOs and anti-social elements, who took protesters to a wrong path," the chief minister told reporters here. "If someone is attacked, the natural course would be to defend and safeguard themselves. This is what has been done by the police in response," he added. Earlier in the day, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president M.K. Stalin was detained after he held an agitation outside Tamil Nadu secretariat over the killings of the agitators who were protesting the construction of new Sterlite's copper smelter plant in Thoothukudi on Tuesday. A clash also broke about between DMK workers and the police when the former were demanding the resignation of chief minister E. Palaniswami, holding his government responsible for the killing of the protesters. The people in the city have been contending that the plant would further pollute the water and pose environmental hazards. The DMK has already announced that it will observe a statewide shutdown on Friday to protest against the action taken by the police. Police have been deployed in large numbers in the sensitive coastal areas. Till now, 67 people have been arrested for indulging in violence. Internet services have been temporarily shut down in Thoothukudi and will remain suspended for another five days in the city. The agitation turned violent after protesters were barred from marching up to the plant following which they began to pelt stones and toppled police vehicles.
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