What is the Vedanta Sterlite issue? 9 dead in Tuticorin mass protest
- Author: Santos West May 23, 2018,
May 23, 2018, 0:44
They started hurling stones at the police and also overturned a vehicle after which the police lobbed teargas shells to disperse them, they said.
'The gunning down by the police of 9 people in.Tamil Nadu, is a brutal example of state sponsored terrorism.
The protesters alleged that police had used force without provocation on the peaceful gathering.
Sterlite Copper represents the copper unit of Vedanta Limited which operates a 400,000 tonnes per annum-plant in Tuticorin. "Police had to control the violence", the CM, who holds the Home portfolio, said.
The collector's office at Thoothukudi looked like war zone, with several vehicles burnt, the glass doors broken and thousands of stones strewn all over the place.
Social activists have also joined the protests against the company.
Nine dead in police firing in Toothukudi as Sterlite protests turn violent
Police say clashes broke out as a huge crowd of protesters stormed district government headquarters. Heavy police deployment could be seen in Thoothukudi and surrounding areas of the coastal city.
"Since the government did not take any steps in this regard, the people launched todays massive rally.police attacked people indiscriminately and opened fire on them which is condemnable", said DMK Working President MK Stalin, reported India Today. Other political leaders have also slammed police and the state government. Chief Minister EK Palaniswami confirmed reports about the deaths in "police action". The state government, he added, "has become the stooge of the Sterlite industries". "If possible, it will be good to close down the (existing) unit", Makkal Neethi Mayyam chief Kamal Haasan said.
Locals have said the plant is polluting air and groundwater in the region.
Palanisamy, however, announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each for those killed during protest and Rs 3 lakh each for the injured, besides offering government jobs for the family members of the deceased. Police was quoted as saying by PTI that almost 5000 protesters gathered near a local church and insisted on taking out a rally to the district collectorate after they were denied permission to march to the copper smelter plant.
Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar told reporters in Chennai that the loss of lives was unfortunate in a state known for peace. The plant is now non-operational and has been ordered to stay shut till June 6 as Tamil Nadu pollution control board has denied its permission for the unit to operate because of alleged non-compliance with environmental rules, Indian Express reported.