Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin said on Thursday his government will withdraw cases against those who took part in protests, including the Chennai-Salem highway, the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, and the hydrocarbon extraction in the Delta region.
Stalin underlined that his intent was to uphold laws protecting freedom of expression while he made the announcement in the Assembly.
“Arignar Anna (CN Annadurai—the first DMK Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu) was a progression of the Justice Party, and M Karunanidhi was a profession of Anna, and I’m a progression of Karunanidhi,” Stalin said.
Stalin also announced the setting up of new—and refurbishment of old— Samathuvapuram (centres to uphold fraternity and social equality), industrial estates in northern Tamil Nadu, and allocation of Rs 100 crore for rebuilding temples.
The move can be seen as the party’s commitment towards supporting the demonstrations, targeting then AIADMK government. The hydrocarbon extraction protests in Neduvasal and Kathiramangalam in central Tamil Nadu, and the Sterlite Copper protest in May 2018 were the key protests supported by the DMK.