Justice to victims only if Sterlite plant stays shut: Medha Patkar

Social activists Suba Udhayakumar, Thirumurugan Gandhi, M Krishnamurthy, V Gunaselan and SDPI State President Nellai Mubarak were present on the occasion.

Published: 25th May 2022 05:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th May 2022 05:40 AM   |  A+A-

Medha Patkar speaking at a press conference in Thoothukudi | Express

By Express News Service

THOOTHUKUDI: Social activist Medha Patkar appealed to CM MK Stalin to not push for reopening the Sterlite plant in Thoothukudi. Patkar was in the district on Tuesday to pay homage to the anti-Sterlite protesters, who were killed in a police firing on May 22, 2018. Social activists Suba Udhayakumar, Thirumurugan Gandhi, M Krishnamurthy, V Gunaselan and SDPI State President Nellai Mubarak were present on the occasion.

Patkar told reporters that the police had shot members of the public who were taking out a peaceful march to the Collectorate. “The march was part of a mass public movement against the pollution and destruction caused to the environment and the livelihoods of people. They were protesting against a polluting company, which was earlier rejected by Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Noting that the CBI is no more considered an impartial agency for investigation as it dubbed the peaceful protestors as criminals in its chargesheet, she claimed the agency blamed the protestors for everything, and recorded the police personnel and the officials who ordered them to use weapons as witnesses. “The Thoothukudi martyrs were not protesting for compensation from the government.

Their struggle was against destruction, displacement and pollution, which were imposed on them under the pretext of development. We hope the State government led by CM MK Stalin will not push for reopening the plant. Copper smelting plants, including the ones in Odisha, have only wreaked pollution over the regions,” she added.

Patkar said pollution control boards are politically-controlled boards. “Police on the other hand bow down to the government and powerful companies. This is why we salute the farmers and fisherfolk in Thoothukudi who stood up against a polluting company and challenged the ‘company-raj’. The martyrs will receive justice only when the Sterlite plant is shut down permanently,” the social activist said.



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