Sterlite protest in Tuticorin: AIADMK leader Hari Prabhakaran stoked a major controversy after he likened journalists to dogs and eventually faced expulsion from the party. Prabhakaran bizarre remark came shortly after Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam visited the hospital in Tuticorin this morning. “Reporters are not allowed to shoot inside the hospital during the DCM visit- street dogs who shouts for biscuits will be tied on the gate rather allowing them suicide,” Prabhakaran posted on Twitter.
However, as his words spread like wildfire and evoked sharp criticism, Prabhakaran deleted the post and come up with a clarification and tendered an apology to scribes. “All opinions expressed by me are personal and it is not official party view. I’m not authorised to express party views. I heard few people got hurt due to one of my tweet this morning . I don’t have any animosity towards any group of people. My apologies to those who r hurt,” Prabhakaran’s Twitter post reads.
Taking cognisance of the offence, AIADMK has expelled him from the party. In a letter issued by the ruling dispensation, the AIADMK clearly stated that he has been sacked by the party’s supreme authority.
Earlier, Panneerselvam said that the government will take necessary steps to permanently shut down the copper smelter plant of Vedanta Ltd, popularly known as Sterlite Copper. He also enquired about the health of those injured in the police firing on anti-Sterlite Copper protestors on May 22, in which 13 persons died. The Deputy Chief Minister was speaking to reporters and he also added that compensation to the injured was being paid.
Meanwhile, normalcy is slowly returning here with shops and other establishments opening their doors for customers. Internet connectivity has also resumed since Sunday midnight after it was suspended on May 23. “Shops are open now. Normalcy is returning. But till the copper smelter plant is permanently closed there will not be total peace in the city,” S. Raja of Thoothukudi Traders Association told IANS. Raja also said that a murder charge should be registered against the police officials who shot the protestors. According to Raja, post-mortem has been done on seven bodies out of the 13 who were killed in the police firing. However, the relatives have not claimed the bodies yet.