CHENNAI: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MP Kanimozhi was detained on Friday after opposition parties held a protest against police firing during the anti-Sterlite protest in Thoothukudi. Along with Kanimozhi, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) chief Thirumavalavan was also detained. The protest, led by DMK, was held in Egmore in Chennai to condemn the Tuticorin violence in which 13 people lost their lives.
Among those who joined the protest included the Congress, IUML, MDMK, VCK, CPI, CPI(M) and MMK. Demonstrations were held in several parts of the state as well as neighbouring Puducherry.
The shutdown called by the DMK-led opposition met with a mixed response as traffic was disrupted in several locations in the city and security was tightened in all the districts of the State. Authorities claimed that the state-run transport corporation buses were being operated as usual and all steps were being taken to ensure that normalcy was not disrupted.
No fresh case of violence was reported from Tuticorin on Friday, which witnessed large-scale violence on May 22 and 23.
The opposition has been demanding the resignation of Chief Minister K Palaniswami over the violence. Palaniswami had on Thursday blamed the locals for getting violent and said they were misguided by 'certain political parties and anti-social elements.' "The entire episode which happened was primarily because of certain political parties, NGOs and anti-social elements who took protestors to a wrong path. 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 said.
Police personnel had allegedly fired from assault rifles to reign in a crowd of locals who were protesting against a copper smelting plant in Thoothukudi. For three months, the protestors had been blaming the plant for causing pollution in the area but things flared up exponentially on Tuesday.