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Rajinikanth announces Rs 2 lakh each for family of protesters killed

Mumbai :Superstar Rajinikanth, who is slated to launch his own political party soon, has announced compensation for those who got killed during protests against Vedanta’s Sterlite Copper plant in Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu on May 22.

“The government needs to be careful as the people are watching, it was a huge mistake and a big lesson. I announce Rs 2 lakh each for the kin of victims who died in the protest,” said the superstar.

Rajinikanth made the announcement after he visited the general hospital in Tuticorin to meet those who got injured during the violent protests.

Members of the DMK, including party working president MK Stalin, had attended the Tamil Nadu Assembly wearing black clothes as mark of protest against the killing of people allegedly in police firing on May 22.

The AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu had on Monday ordered the state Pollution Control Board to seal and ‘permanently’ close the Vedanta group’s copper plant in Tuticorin. Soon after the issuance of the Government Order, top Tuticorin district officials sealed the copper smelter unit premises and pasted the order at the main gate.

State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT) land, which was allotted by the Tamil Nadu government to Vedanta Sterlite, for phase 2, was also cancelled.

Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had asserted that the government would take resolute steps for the permanent closure of Vedanta group’s copper plant. “Today, the main demand of the people is that the copper plant should be permanently closed. In keeping with their demand, it is shut now. I would like to make it clear that Sterlite plant will be permanently shut,” he had said.

Describing the deaths of 13 people in the police firing as an “incident of grief which melted the hearts of everyone,” Panneerselvam had expressed his condolences to the kin of the dead and had wished the injured a speedy recovery.

Recalling the steps taken by the government for closing down the plant, he had said that way back in 2013, the copper plant was shut down by late CM J Jayalalithaa.