Chennai: Taking strong objection to the manner in which the state government handled two days of violence in Tuticorin against a Sterlite Industries' copper smelting plant, DMK has demanded CM Edappadi K Palaniswami's resignation.
Blaming Palaniswami for mishandling the situation which saw police fire from assault rifles, Stalin said that he should put in his papers on moral grounds. "Even after the death of 12 innocent people, no action has been taken against the culprits. CM has become ineffective. Therefore, we demand that CM must resign immediately, DGP Rajendran must resign too," he told mediapersons on Thursday.
Stalin, who visited the injured in local hospitals Thoothukudi on Wednesday, also blamed Palaniswami for not visiting those affected by the violence that erupted over two days. "Is he not concerned about their welfare? He has not even bothered to visit the district and meet the people," said the DMK President.
The party has now called for a statewide bandh on Friday and has demanded that the plant - owned by Sterlite, the copper unit of Vedanta, be permanently shut.
A Madurai bench of Madras High Court on Wednesday had issued a stay order on construction activities here. A day later, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) directed the district collector of Thoothukudi to snap power connection. The main angst against the plant comes from accusations from locals that it is causing large-scale pollution in the area. TNPCB found that despite the court order, there was some activity still being carried out here.
Meanwhile, internet services will remain suspended for five days in Thoothukudi. As many as 67 people have been arrested so far on charges of indulging in violence. Vedanta has urged the state government to ensure the security of its employees in the area even as its stocks stumbled by 2% in early Thursday trading on BSE.