As the Sterlite protest death toll rises, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and other opposition parties in Tamil Nadu on Thursday condemned the police action against the protesters in Tuticorin and called for a dawn-to-dusk statewide bandh on May 25.
"The DMK, the All India National Congress, the Dravidar Kazhagam, the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the CPI, the CPI(M), the Indian Union Muslim League, the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi will participate in the day-long statewide protest," a party said in a statement.
The DMK had on Tuesday called for an all-party protest in all district headquarters on May 25 to condemn the police firing in Tuticorin district. However, in a statement issued late Thursday, the party said that instead of the all-party protest, a statewide bandh would be observed on May 25 to condemn the police action and demand closure of the Sterlite copper smelter plant in Tuticorin district.
People living in Tuticorin and its neighbouring districts were angered by the police action against the agitators, the release said.
"The bandh will also reflect the feelings of Tamils," the party added in the statement.
Stalin demands CM Palaniswami's resignation
DMK working president MK Stalin sat on a protest outside Tamil Nadu secretariat and demanded the immediate resignation of Chief Minister K Palaniswami and DGP Rajendran over the killings.
"CM has become ineffective. He did not bother to visit the dist & meet the people. Therefore, we demand that CM must resign immediately, DGP Rajendran must resign too," ANI quoted Stalin as saying.
Death toll rises to 13
Earlier on Tuesday, 11 people, including a girl, were killed and several others injured after police opened fire at protesters demanding the closure of Vedanta’s Sterlite Copper unit.
Angered over the killings, locals on Wednesday took to streets and started pelting stones at security personnel, prompting police to open fire at Anna Nagar. One person was killed in the firing and three others injured. One of the injured later succumbed to the injuries, taking the death toll to 13.
The residents of Tuticorin were protesting for over 100 days demanding the closure of the Sterlite Copper unit. They alleged that the plant was polluting groundwater and causing serious health issues.