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Kamal Haasan hails Tamil Nadu government's decision to shut down Sterlite plant

The Makkal Needhi Maiam founder called the order to close permanently the Sterlite Copper unit in Tuticorin "a victory for the might of the people".

Manigandan KR

Actor Kamal Haasan has called the Tamil Nadu government's decision to shut down the Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi, or Tuticorin, a victory "for the might of the people".

The people of Tuticorin district have been protesting against the copper smelting plant for over 100 days, after which police opened fire on the protestors, killing 13 and injuring over 60, last week.

The plant, locals claim, has been polluting the air and water sources in the area and had caused the deaths of several people in adjoining villages. 

Kamal Haasan, whose nascent party, Makkal Needhi Maiam, has welcomed the decision, said, "The recent order of the Tamil Nadu government for permanent closure of the Sterlite Copper unit in Thoothukudi is a victory for the might of the people. All political parties should humble themselves before this victory of the people; salute the martyrs and learn from them. The future of TN politics has been changed by the people of Thoothukudi. Now, more of Tamil Nadu will help make the change."

The actor-filmmaker added, "The purpose of a politician has been redefined by the people. Makkal Needhi Maiam will take the education forward. Honoured to be a Tamilian.

"We are witness not just to hand-fed news anymore. We have started becoming the change. The government should have been sensitive to the protests of local people for over 100 days and acted swiftly, which would have avoided the needless and unfortunate loss of lives last week. Any legal challenge to this order by the company should be defended appropriately by the state government to ensure that the present order is permanently implemented."