Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Anti-Sterlite protest in TN turns violent, 20 injured

Smoke billows out of burning vehicles after a violent protest demanding closure of Vedanta's Sterlite Copper unit entered the 100th day in Tuticorin on Tuesday Vedanta Sterlite Tamil Nadu Violence: 9 Dead As Police Fire During ...
Frank Williams | 22 May, 2018, 21:14

The agitation against Sterlite Copper, which represents the copper unit of Vedanta Limited, became intense after the company declared its intention to expand the unit.

Protestors at Chepauk burning effigy of Sterlite owner. He said an inquiry commission would be set up to probe the incident and promised government jobs for family members of those who were killed.

"To bring the violence under control, under unavoidable circumstances, police had to take action". One person each from the victims' families will get government employment. He announced a compensation of ₹10 lakh each to those killed; ₹3 lakh to the severely injured; and ₹1 lakh to those with minor injuries.

Most of the bullet wounds on the deceased were above the abdomen. As the violence spiralled, police opened fire, killing nine people. More than 65 reported injured, including 12 who are seriously injured.

After the police failed attempt to disperse the crowd, the protestors who were demanding the shutting down of the Sterlite Copper Smelter Plant engaged in stone pelting and torched police vehicles and two-wheelers. Images also show protesters and police in a tense standoff with barricades between them. Protesters were seen pelting stones at the police. Unconfirmed reports, however, put the death toll at three. The CM also said in a statement that the protesters took out a procession towards the collectorate in defiance of the prohibitory orders clamped in the specific area in Tuticorin. The citizens are not criminals. They have always been dying, first because of the plant now because of the government's attitude. "Everyone please stay calm", the party said in a press release.

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This mass protest on May 22 was organised beforehand and several hundreds of protesters rallied to the collectorate campus. Law and Order ADGP, battalions from Manimuthaaru and Madurai, were rushed to the place where protests were happening. The police responded by firing tear gas shells. As the entire situation unfolded the mob manhandled a freelance photographer's camera and snatched the memory card.

"The expansion (of Sterlite Copper) should not at all be allowed.if possible it will be good to close down this unit", he had told reporters in Tuticorin. The protest got much need attention when the Thoothukudi town remained shut for a day on March 24 and ended with a public rally which attracted thousands of people.

Section 144 of CrPc has been conjured in and around the Sterlite unit to give security.

. He said almost 3,000 troops had been brought in from neighbouring districts to control the situation. The protesters gheraoed police vehicle at VVD signal while on their way to collectorate.

Almost 3000 police personnel have been deployed under four Additional Superintendents of Police and 13 Dy SPs to bring the situation under control, official sources said. Panic gripped the industrial area when around 2,000 policemen resorted to lathi-charge and firing to disburse the protesters, sources said.

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