02 Apr 2018
Kamal Haasan joins agitation against Sterlite plant
Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan visited Kumarettiapuram in Tuticorin district to express support with people protesting against a Sterlite Industries plant for the last 49 days.
He claimed that he was there in the capacity of a "human being, a Tamilian" and not a politician eyeing votes.
He slammed the state's AIADMK government and said, "Injustice meted out to you is the cruel face of greediness."
What is the issue with Sterlite Industries?
Sterlite Industries, part of the London-based Vedanta Resources, runs India's biggest copper smelter in the region.
The plant was shut on March 21 for maintenance. It was to resume operations on March 23.
However, when Tuticorin residents woke up on that day, they complained of itchy eyes, burning throat and breathing trouble.
It was noted that sulphur dioxide levels had gone off the charts.
Now, what are the residents protesting?
This fueled the simmering local anger against Sterlite factory, marred by controversies since its inception.
Locals are now seeking the plant's immediate shutdown. They want the state to deny permission to Sterlite about its expansion plan to double the capacity, citing severe pollution of air, water and soil.
CM Palaniswami assured that government would take a decision after reviewing pollution data.
What does Haasan have to say?
Haasan said that any industry which doesn't care for the people isn't required in the country.
He claimed that the state government had ignored the public's voice.
Charging up the public, he bellowed, "The voice should reach the Centre now. Correcting a wrong is the job of the government. If the government failed to do that, people would do that."
Meanwhile, protesters have received support from all Opposition parties
Incidentally, protesters received support from all quarters of the Opposition. DMK urged the government to stop work on Sterlite's expansion.
CPI(M) announced that it would lay siege to the plant on April 4.
Further, Rajinikanth took to Twitter to extend his support. He said, "One can't understand why the government, which gave the nod for the plant, is not taking any action and is just watching."