The state government hasn’t been as specific as Swamy is but it has also hinted at agent provocateurs in Tuticorin protests
Activists of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam played the critical role in the violent campaign against Sterlite Industries’ copper smelter plant in the port town of Thoothukudi, said senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy. As many as 13 persons, including a woman and a young girl, were killed and many more injured. The incident has rocked Tamil Nadu.
A keen watcher of TN politics, Swamy told this correspondent, “Just as in the Jallikattu protests, LTTE elements infiltrated into the campaign against Sterlite. They triggered violence” which spiralled into a major confrontation between the protestors and cops.
The state government hasn’t been as specific as Swamy is but it has also hinted at agent provocateurs in Tuticorin protests. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, while defending his police force, told reporters on Friday, “Section 144 of the CrPC had been promulgated in Tuticorin to prevent violence. But some opposition parties and anti-social elements were instigating innocent people to pressure the government and give us a bad name.”
Swamy slammed the Congress for blaming the Narendra Modi government for the bloody turmoil in Tuticorin
The Rajya Sabha MP’s statement comes against the backdrop of hectic politicking over the subject. A number of questions have been raised and are yet to be answered. The protest was peaceful for 99 days, so how did suddenly turn violent on the 100th day.
The protesters had announced a siege at the collectorate. Why weren’t they stopped from doing so? Why weren’t they arrested for violating Section 144? When the crowd became violent, the crowd was fired upon with the cops taking aim at the protesters. Why weren’t water cannons used? Why didn’t police think of using pellets or rubber bullets instead of real ones?
Informed sources told this correspondent that there is a strong suspicion that even the police force suffered infiltration by the LTTE.
Swamy slammed the Congress for blaming the Narendra Modi government for the bloody turmoil in Tuticorin. Right from the inception of the plant in the mid-1990s to the important landmarks in its history, the Congress was in power, he said.
For instance, in 2013, the Supreme Court imposed Rs 100-crore penalty on the Sterlite copper plant after a gas leak. It was also critical of the company for operating without requisite permits for a long period. In the same year, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board had also ordered a shutdown of the plant because of leaked toxic sulphur dioxide.
Swamy said that instead of accusing the Modi regime of anything wrong, it should introspect.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.