TN: Several killed in police-firing as Sterlite protests turn violent

100th Day of Thoothukudi Sterlite Protest Turns Violent Police Opens Firing At Least 8 Dead & More Than 30 Injured

100th Day of Thoothukudi Sterlite Protest Turns Violent Police Opens Firing At Least 8 Dead & More Than 30 Injured

They then started hurling stones at police and also overturned a vehicle after which the security personnel lobbed teargas shells to disperse them, the police said.

Tracing the history of Sterlite Industries India Ltd, a Vedanta Group unit, it said the plant was in operation in Meelavitan in Tuticorin for the past 20 years. Plumes of black smoke emanated from the protest site.

"We are trying to bring the situation under control".

Among those who died were identified as Antony Selvaraj, Kandiah, Gladson, Jayaram, Maniraj, Tamilarasan, Shanmugham and Venista.

At least 9 people have lost their lives and several others injured in the ongoing protests in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin. Many of them were admitted to hospitals for treatment.

Among the injured was a 16-year-old schoolgirl who was waiting for her bus when she was hit by a bullet.

Meanwhile, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam working president M K Stalin met the state's chief secretary regarding the anti-Sterlite protests, reported News 18. Negligence of the government is the reason for all the unfortunate incidents.

"Entering the collector's office and (perpetrating) violence is not acceptable". They even torched few vehicles, as a result of which, police had to resort to tear-gas shelling and lathi charge.

The statement said the government will take all legal steps in the matter and asked the people to maintain peace. Police from neighbouring districts of Madurai and Virudhunagar was rushed to Thoothukudi to bring the situation under control.

Anti-Sterlite protesters set ablaze two-wheelers parked on the roadside on the Thoothukudi Palayamkottai bypass on May 22, 2018.

The protesters alleged that police had used force without provocation on the peaceful gathering.

In 2013, the Sterlite copper plant was fined by the Supreme Court for polluting the land and water in the area on account of a gas leak.

The latest protest turned violent as a crowd waving black flags stormed the district government headquarters and an apartment block for Vedanta employees, a company official said, declining to be named for fear of being targeted. It claimed that the person was killed in stone pelting and not in the firing.

He also promised government jobs for one family member of each of those who lost their lives in accordance with their qualifications. Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan termed it a non-violent protest. Apart from this, activists contend, a plant like Sterlite will require lot of surface water and resources, which may gradually lead to depletion of drinking water in the area and also shortage for agricultural supply.

Actor Rajinikanth took a dig at the ruling AIADMK over the issue of the expansion of the copper plant, saying the government was not responding to the protests by locals.

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