Sterlite protest in Tuticorin: Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan condemn shootings
The death toll following the incidents of gunfire in Tuticorin has reached 11 and all of Tamil Nadu is mourning. For over a 100 days, protests rang out in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi against a proposed expansion of Sterlite Copper, a copper smelter company, over concerns of pollution. Adding voice to the protestors, Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan condemned the act of violence.
Rajini shared a video on twitter where he condemned the government’s ‘careless attitude’ and ‘unlawful police firing’. The video, originally posted in Tamil, is roughly translated as saying, “This government's inaction and their indifference towards the sentiments of people has resulted in the loss of lives by gunfire. I'm deeply saddened, and this is a condemnable act. Tamil Nadu government is solely responsible for the violence and deaths."
Kamal Haasan was supposed to be attending the swearing in ceremony of JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy as the new chief minister of Karanataka, but he changed his plans. He skipped the event and decided to head over to Tuticorin. In a tweet, Haasan said that he’s coming to Tuticorin to share the sorrow of his ‘fellow brothers and sisters.’
Residents of Tuticorin have been protesting for permanent shut down of Sterlite Copper, a unit of Vedanta. The protestors alleged health hazards to locals. Things took a downturn when on May 22, Tamil Nadu policemen opened fire at the protesters, killing 11 people.
Several Tamil actors such as Dhanush Kamal Haasan, Kathik Subbaraj and others tweeted against the police firing. Dhanush said in his tweet that the protestors should receive justice, and those responsible for the incident should be punished. Sathyaraj wondered in a video message if a ‘capitalist who is living somewhere is important or the people of Tamil Nadu who reside in the state is.’