Thoothukudi fishermen reveal about the presence of anti-social elements in protests against Sterilite plant

Fishermen belonging to the Therespuram village in Thoothukudi district have accused the Tamil radical group, “Makkal Adhigaram” for instigating them to involve in violence during the Anti-Sterilite protests that happened on 22nd May 2018. Around 200 men and women from the fisherman community of that area submitted a petition to the Thoothukudi district Legal Services Authority saying that fishermen don’t have any relation with the violence that happened in Thoothudkudi but they were indoctrinated and brainwashed to indulge in violence by few advocates belonging to the radical Tamil group, “Makkal Adhigaram”.

In their petition, the fishermen claimed that it was Makkal Adhigaram, particularly, advocates Hari Raghavan and Vanjinathan who brainwashed youngsters of the fishermen community into marching towards the collectorate on 22nd May 2018. According to their petition, leaders from the fishermen community concurred to the Tuticorin police’s request to gather at the SAV ground to prevent law and order situation in the coastal town, during a meeting held on May 20, two days before the planned siege of the collectorate was set to happen.

They also met the Thoothukudi bar council president Tilak and complained about the involvement of members from the Bar council in brainwashing the fishermen to involve in violence. A member of Thoothukudi country craft fishermen association said that “They also allegedly campaigned among our people saying that the fishermen community should be ready for any kind of eventuality during the May 22 rally”.

Actor turned politician Rajinikanth also expressed similar views after the incident in Thoothukudi and he told that the protests of the people were hijacked by anti-social elements which led to the violence. He also added that the common innocent people won’t involve in such violent activities and it is only because of the involvement of anti-social groups, such activities happened in Thoothukudi.

When Rajinikanth expressed such views, he was criticized by several Tamil groups and Tamil Media houses for uttering such words. Kamal Haasan indirectly attacked Rajinikanth by saying that if people who involve in protests are anti-social then he is also an anti-social person but from the revelation of involvement of groups like Makkal Adigaram by fishermen, it can be observed that Rajinkanth’s statements are more closer to reality than the statements of other groups and politicians.

It also should be remembered that the ambulances were vandalized, police were pelted by stones and residential quarters of Sterilite employees were torched by the anti-social groups. We have also written a piece about these violent incidents and the involvement of anti-social elements in the protests against Sterilite plant and it can be read here.