Chief Minister M K Stalin on Wednesday ordered the withdrawal of cases against leaders of political parties, filed in connection with the protests held in 2018 against Vedanta’s Tutcorin based Sterlite copper. As many as 38 cases, involving 13 leaders including DMK’s Anita R Radhakrishnan, now Fisheries Minister and party’s Tuticorin south district secretary were ordered to be withdrawn by Stalin, an official release here said.
Cases against MDMK chief Vaiko, veteran CPI leader R Nallakannu, CPI(M) state secretary K Balakrishnan, Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam top leader TTV Dhinakaran, DMDK leaders Premalatha Vijayakanth and L K Sudhish, and six others were ordered to be withdrawn. On May 21, the state government said barring select cases, including those with the CBI, all others against anti-Sterlite Copper protesters would be withdrawn and relief assistance of Rs one lakh each to 93 arrested people shall be given.
Stalin had taken that decision based on the interim report of Justice Aruna Jagadeesan, heading the Commission of Inquiry into the Tuticorin police firing and violence. The inquiry panel has recommended relief to 94 people who were arrested and accordingly 93 would be given Rs one lakh each and Rs two lakh to the mother of a deceased person, the government had said.
The protests in Tuticorin in southern Tamil Nadu against Sterlite Copper over environment concerns peaked on May 22, 2018 leading to violence that resulted in 13 deaths in police firing.