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Rajnath expresses grief over killings in anti-Sterlite protests

New Delhi [India], May 24 :
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday expressed grief over the killing of the 13 people in anti-Sterlite protests in Thoothukudi.

"Deeply pained by loss of lives during protests in Tuticorin (Thoothukudi). The Prime Minister is also concerned about situation and is pained by loss of lives," Singh told ANI.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has taken cognisance of the situation and has sought a report from the Tamil Nadu government on the police firing and the prevailing situation in Thoothukudi.

Speaking to ANI, the Home Minister said, "MHA has taken cognisance of situation and asked for report from the state government. Our thoughts are with the people of Tuticorin."

The Home Minister appealed to the people in Thoothukudi to remain calm and maintain peace and tranquility in the region.

He took to Twitter and wrote, "My thoughts are with bereaved families. I also pray for the speedy recovery of the injured. I appeal to the people in Tuticorin (Thoothukudi) to remain calm and maintain peace and tranquility in the region."

Earlier in the day, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E. Palaniswami blamed opposition parties, NGOs and anti-social elements for the killings in anti-Sterlite protests.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president M.K. Stalin was detained earlier today after he held an agitation outside Tamil Nadu secretariat over the killings of the agitators who were protesting the construction of new Sterlite's copper smelter plant in Thoothukudi on Tuesday.
A clash also broke about between DMK workers and the police when the former were demanding the resignation of chief minister E. Palaniswami, holding his government responsible for the killing of the protesters.

The people in the city have been contending that the plant would further pollute the water and pose environmental hazards.

The DMK has already announced that it will observe a statewide shutdown on Friday to protest against the action taken by the police.

Police have been deployed in large numbers in the sensitive coastal areas.
Till now, 67 people have been arrested for indulging in violence.

Internet services have been temporarily shut down in Thoothukudi and will remain suspended for another five days in the city.

The agitation turned violent after protesters were barred from marching up to the plant following which they began to pelt stones and toppled police vehicles.

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