Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has on Friday unveiled a crucial move of providing government jobs to the kins of people who were either killed or severely injured in the police firing at Thoothukudi against the protesters who protested with the demand of shutting down the Sterlite Copper plant in the southern district of the state. It has become one of the significant orders passed by Stalin in his first tenure as the Chief Minister.
The government's drive of providing jobs for the kins has come three years after the police firing was unfolded in which 13 people were killed and dozens were injured. According to reports, MK Stalin has on Friday handed over the appointment letters to various government departments to the relatives of those killed and injured in the police firing.
The Chief Minister had provided the appointment letters based on the educational qualifications of the family members. Stalin's cabinet ministers including P Thiaga Rajan, Moorthy, and Periakaruppan, and Lok Sabha MPs Kanimozhi and Su Venkatesan were present at the event of handing over the appointment orders and his order of addressing the distress braced up by the families through providing the government jobs has been welcomed and commended by several people across and beyond the state.
The reports say that sixteen people have been posted as junior assistants and one as a jeep driver. They will work in the revenue and rural development ministries in the Thoothukudi district. Along with providing the government jobs, Stalin has on Friday ordered to withdraw the police cases filed against the protesters during the demonstrations in Thoothukudi.
Three years ago, in 2018, Thoothukudi had witnessed large-scale protests with the demand to shut down the Sterlite Copper plant as the residents were anguished and protested against the copper plant by stating that it threatens their livelihoods and also violates pollution norms. The people had protested for hundred days and on the hundredth day had seen a police firing as the police had opened fire and killed 13 people including a student.
The previous ADMK government had justified the police firing and said that the protests were infiltered by the anti-social elements and triggered violence. The ADMK government had also filed police cases against several people for protesting and causing damages to the public properties. However, the police firing had instigated nationwide outrage and mounted pressure on the government post which the government had closed the copper plant.
It had further formed a one-person commission to probe into the violence and police firing under retired Justice Aruna Jagadeesan. As the Edappadi Palaniswami-led ADMK government was ousted in the recent assembly polls, the DMK had secured a landslide victory and Stalin has sworn in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on May 7. Nearly two weeks after taking the office, Stalin has now provided government jobs for the kins of the people who died and were injured in the police firing.
Stalin has also ordered to withdraw the police cases filed against the people during protests. According to reports, the government has decided to repeal the cases filed against the people for protesting against the copper plant and causing damages to the public property. The government has also said that it will provide a 'No Objection Certificate' to the people who are facing a blockade in getting education and jobs owing to the police case.
The government has clarified that apart from the cases that are before the courts and Central Investigative agencies, the rest of the cases will be withdrawn. The order from the government to provide jobs and repeal the cases in connection with the Sterlite protests has come days after Aruna Jagadeesan's commission has submitted the reports of the probe to the Chief Minister and after the state government has allowed the resumption of the Sterlite Copper plant to produce medical oxygen to address the oxygen shortage in treating the COVID-19 patients in the state. Stalin's orders of providing government jobs to the kin of the victims and withdrawing the police cases against the protesters have come a day ahead of the third anniversary of the police firing in Thoothukudi.