Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami is set to visit Thoothukudi on Saturday. He is also expected to meet the families of those killed and persons injured, in the police firing during the anti-Sterlite protests.
The visit comes weeks after questions were raised continuously over why the CM had still not visited the city after 13 people were killed and 60 others injured in the Thoothukodi massacre.
The incident took place on May 22, when the police opened fire during the protest against the construction of a new smelter plant by Sterlite copper mining Industries, a business unit of Vedanta Limited, in Thoothukudi.
The construction of the copper plant was reportedly polluting the groundwater and was hazardous for the environment.
Following the violence, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court directed the Tamil Nadu government to state the reasons for the police firing and asked the State to file its response by June 6.
CM Palaniswami said the protesters not only pelted policemen with stones but also set on fire their vehicles as well as those parked in the Collectorate.''They hurled stones at the collector's office, police had to control the violence. I was grieved to know that people were unfortunately killed in this incident'' the CM said in a statement.
The Tamil Nadu Government ordered for the permanent closure of the Sterlite unit in Thoothukudi, under provisions of Section 31A of Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1971, and Section 33A of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974.
Actor Rajinikanth met the injured persons at a general hospital in Thoothukudi and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the kin of the deceased. The actor blamed anti-social elements for deaths. “The attack on the collector's office and setting on fire (Sterlite) quarters was not done by the common people. Some anti-social elements infiltrated,” he said.
Kollywood actors Vijay and Kamal Haasan also visited the families of those who died during the clashes. Vijay handed over a consolation of Rs 1 lakh to each family.
(With agency inputs)