Nine killed in police firing on protesters in Tamil Nadu

Sterlite protest: At least 9 killed in police firing in Tamil Nadu

Sterlite protest: At least 9 killed in police firing in Tamil Nadu

The protest turned violent after protesters started throwing stones at police, set several vehicles ablaze, and destroyed public as well as government properties, including banks.

Owing to the Anti-Sterlite campaigners' call for a massive protest against the operations of copper smelter here, several hundreds of protesters rallied to the collectorate campus here on Tuesday. "I condemn the actions of the police", said Stalin. This provoked the protesters, who went berserk, damaging police vehicles and pelting stones at the police.

'The inaction of the government has led to the people's protests, and police resorting to firing to control it. Action should be taken to shut down the plant immediately to address this issue, ' MK Stalin, leader of the main opposition group in Tamil Nadu, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, said in a Facebook post. Chief Minister K Palaniswami said he was concerned over the protests and subsequent deaths.

"The mob resorted to violence, set on fire police vehicles and those parked at the collectorate and pelted stones at the collector's office".

The residents of Thoothukudi have been demanding the closure of the Sterlite Copper Smelter for the past 1oo days and had chose to take out a march before the Tuticorin District Collectorate on Tuesday.

Following a Madras High Court directive, the district authorities had issued prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC, barring assembly of more than four people in and around the Sterlite plant. The injured protesters have been taken to a nearby hospital.

Reportedly, cops also used tear gases to disperse the crowd who refused to move out from the Sterlite employees residential quarters today.


Actor Rajnikanth also took to Twitter and slammed the AIADMK. Additional police force has been rushed in from neighbouring districts to bring the situation under control.

The party in its statement said, "The peaceful protest by the people of Tuticorin against Sterlite, demanded justice was ignored by the Governments". The protest, which reminded everyone of the 2017 Jallikattu protest in Chennai's Marina beach, was organised using social media.

The residents of Thoothukudi have been demanding closure of the Sterlite Copper claiming that the pollution caused by it is causing them severe health problems. The plant was ordered to be closed for a while after the allegations but later the National Green Tribunal let the plant reopen after some time.

Sterlite Copper represents the copper unit of Vedanta Limited which operates a 400,000 tonnes per annum-plant in Tuticorin.

The minister said the government had not given the license for expansion of the plant.

Some activists have said that the plant is posing a grave danger to the residents of the area as reports have suggested that throat and eye cancer cases have gone up in the area. They are ones who lose their lives; earlier due to Sterlite and now due to the government's order.

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