Kollywood celebrities have slammed the Tamil Nadu government after the cops opened fire to control the violent protests, killing nine people. From Tamil superstar Rajinikanth to young actors like GV Prakash Kumar shared their anguish against the shocking development.
A huge crowd had gathered to mark the 100th day of protest against the expansion of UK-based Vedanta Resources' Copper plant in its Thoothukudi factory. The protestors were denied permission to march toward the copper smelter plant after Section 144 of the IPC was enforced in the area following the Madras High Court's order.
However, the mob decided to march toward the Tuticorin collector's office and the situation turned violent when agitators started pelting stones at the collector's office. To bring the situation under control, the security personnel resorted to lathi charge and tear gas at the protesters. But the mob retaliated by throwing stones at the cops.
With the situation going out of control, the police opened fire on the mob, which killed nine and left over 30 injured.
"The police had to take action under unavoidable circumstances to protect public life and property as the protesters resorted to repeated violence... police had to control the violence," Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Palaniswami told reporters.
The government has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the families of people who were killed in the incident, Rs 3 lakh and Rs 1 lakh respectively, to the seriously injured and to those who suffered minor injuries.
Palaniswami has assured to provide government jobs to the families of the deceased, as per their educational background.
Nonetheless, the incident has evoked severe criticism from political parties as well as celebrities from the film industry. Here, we bring you the comments posted by Tamil actors:
Rajinikanth: TN government's inaction is responsible for the violence in Thoothukudi. TN govt should take responsibility for the loss of life and violence in Thoothukudi.
Siddharth: Each and every bullet in the chests of dead protestors will come back to haunt this sham of a govt in Tamil Nadu. Deepest condolences and prayers for the murdered innocents and their families. What a dark day in our history. #SterliteProtest.
Varu sarathkumar: Shocked to hear what happened. The whole idea of a peaceful protest is to ensure that no one gets hurt..and yet so much violence.. innocent people shot..#SterliteProtest #shameonTNgovt it's truly a black day..prayers and strength to the families of the victims..#RIP change needed
Rupa Manjari: This is intolerable&very very saddening!!!!!...law&order does not shoot&kill rapists in this country but shoots public&innocent ppl who r protesting for a noble cause&for the well being of all and for this country.. #SterliteProtestshootout #SterliteProtest
Arvind swami: #SterliteProtest deeply saddened to hear about the death of protesters in Tuticorin. My condolences to the families and those affected.
Khushbusundar..and it's NAKHAT KHAN for the BJP..: The news about the casualties in #SterliteProtest is heartbreaking..May the force be with the families of the those who lost their lives and find the strength to cope with the painful loss..anything that takes away the livelihood n natural resources of the farmers has to go..
Gayathri Raguramm: Very sad to hear about #SterliteProtest and shocked. My condolences to pp's families who fought for #STERLITE. No more violence. Enough is enough
Vijay Sethupathi ◽️: saddened and im angered .firing innocent lives who strived only for everyones wellbeing . just because they dont create violence doesn't mean they dont know and you'll take it for granted. my deepest condolences to the families that lost their loved ones #SterliteProtest
Sibi (Sathya)raj: Saddened and angered by the government's negligence and attitude that has lead to loss of lives today.When people protest peacefully for a proper cause its the duty of those in power to look into the problem and arrive at an amicable solution! #SterliteProtest
Rajinikanth: It is sad to condemn the deaths of civilians today as a result of this government's neglect that does not respect the sentiments of the people. The Tamil Nadu government is responsible for the ongoing violence and public mortalities.
Kamal Haasan: Makkal Needhi Maiam condemns the open fire in Tuticorin. The peaceful protest by the people of Tuticorin against Sterlite, demanding justice was ignored by the governments. Negligence of the Governments is the reason for all the unfortunate incidents. Citizens are not criminals. They are ones who lose their lives; earlier due to Sterlite and now due to the Government's orders. Everybody should maintain peace!" the press release stated.