The bandh called by DMK-led opposition parties to condemn police firing at Tuticorin in which 13 people lost their lives and press for Chief Minister K Palaniswami’s resignation passed off peacefully on Friday. Demonstrations by DMK, its allies Congress, IUML, MMK and other parties like MDMK, VCK, CPI, and CPI(M) were staged across Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry.
Protesters in Tuticorin, nearly 600 km from Chennai, had clashed with police protesting the proposed expansion of a copper smelter of Sterlite Copper, a unit of the Vedanta group, over pollution concerns. The Tamil Nadu police resorted to firing as the agitation allegedly turned violent. Yesterday, DMK leader Stalin, who was holding a protest outside Tamil Nadu secretariat, was also detained by the police. Several other leaders were detained too.
DMK Working president M K Stalin said such protests would continue till Palaniswami quits and demanded that government make an official announcement that the Sterlite plant would be shut permanently. Protests would be held till such an official declaration was made, he told reporters at a hall where he was lodged by police after he led a protest at Madurantakam in Kancheepuram district.
Palaniswami had on Thursday defended the police action. “When someone hits you, you naturally tend to defend yourselves. so on such situations, no one acts in a pre-planned manner,” he wrote on Twitter.
The DMK and opposition parties have called for a state-wide bandh today. Transport services are likely to be affected in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry. Follow Highlights
Anti-Sterlite protest: Notice to CBI on plea seeking probe into police firing
The Madras High Court earlier in the day issued notice to the CBI on a PIL seeking a probe by the agency into the police firing in Tuticorin in which 13 people lost their lives.
Similar protests will continue till Palaniswami quits: Stalin
DMK Working President M K Stalin today said that like Friday's bandh, similar protests would continue till CM K Palaniswami quits. He demanded that government should make an official announcement that the Sterlite plant would be shut permanently.
"Protests would be held till such an official declaration was made, he told reporters in Chennai. He alleged that those in the AIADMK government were "bribed", vis-a-vis the Sterlite row.
Hitting out at the AIADMK regime, Stalin said he and his party colleagues went to the Secretariat yesterday to lay siege to the chief minister's office. "We were there to tell the Chief Minister to quit his office and go home and not to give any petitions," he said.
PTI quoted officials as saying that attendance in government and private establishments was normal. Though most shops, retail outlets and commercial establishments were closed in such regions, public transportation was not affected. In Tuticorin, no fresh violence was reported today and the port city appeared to limp back to normalcy with operation of buses to select destinations like Tirunelveli beginning today with police security. The vegetable market also opened.
The bandh called to condemn police firing at Tuticorin passed off peacefully today, reports PTI. Demonstrations by DMK, its allies Congress, IUML, MMK and other parties like MDMK, VCK, CPI, and CPI(M) were staged across Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry. State-run transport corporation buses, autos, taxis and trains operated as usual while banks, hotels, commercial establishments and markets were open.
Tuticorin protests: Environment minister Harsh Vardhan says will look into demands of agitators
Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday said he will look into the demands of the protestors seeking the closure of Vedanta's Sterlite Copper unit in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin and asserted that "all this happened" during the previous government's tenure.
"I just returned in the morning and I read about it (Tuticorin) in the newspapers. We will certainly look into what is happening. All this happened during the tenure of the last government. I do not want to make an issue out of it," Vardhan said.
"Normalcy should be restored at the earliest. All the responsible officers have been put at prominent places so that they take care of the situation and there is no tension between security forces and the people," ANI quotes Gagandeep Singh Bedi, government monitoring officer in Tamil Nadu as saying.
Internet suspension lifted in Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari
Internet suspension has been lifted in Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari. However, services will continue to remain suspended in Thoothukudi, reports ANI.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court asked an advocate, who has filed a petition seeking a court-monitored CBI probe into the deaths of protesters during the anti-Sterlite rally in Tamil Nadu, to mention the matter for urgent listing on Monday 28. Advocate G S Mani, who filed the PIL on the Tuticorin violence, urged the court that it was a "very serious matter".
Mani, in his petition, termed the compensation of Rs 10 lakh announced by the state government to the families of those killed during the protest as inadequate. It has sought compensation of Rs 50 lakh to the families of those who were killed in the firing and Rs 25 lakh to those who were seriously injured in the police firing.
The petition has further sought restoration of internet services in the districts of Tuticorin, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu. Seeking a court-monitored CBI probe, the plea has alleged that the state police would not be able to conduct a free and fair investigation into the incident due to the involvement of senior police officials.
Thoothukudi violence: Tamil Nadu govt submits its report to home ministry
Tamil Nadu government submits its report to the Home Ministry on Thoothukudi violence, reports ANI.
Why internet blocked in Thoothukudi, Madras HC asks Tamil Nadu govt
Madras High Court has asked the Tamil Nadu government 'why Internet has been blocked in Thoothukudi?' It also asked the state government to submit its reply by 3 pm today, reports ANI.
Students of Pondicherry University also staged a protest on Friday against the killing of 13 people in Thoothukudi police firing.
Puducherry Pradesh Congress Committee had extended support to the bandh call by DMK
On Thursday, Puducherry Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) had extended all support to the bandh call given by DMK and other political parties.
Tuticorin plant closure was ordered by the State pollution control board: Vedanta
Meanwhile, in a BSE filing, Vedanta has said its Tuticorin plant closure was ordered by the State pollution control board. 'The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) vide its order dated May 23, 2018 ordered disconnection of electricity supply and closure of the company's 'Copper Smelter Plant 1 at Thoothukudi District, Tamil Nadu' under provisions of Section 33A of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Section 31A of Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1971, with immediate effect,' it said. 'We would also like to inform that the plant was not operating since March 27, 2018,' it added.
Traffic disrupted at several places in Chennai but no fresh violence reported from Tuticorin
In the wake of protest, traffic was disrupted in several locations in Chennai. However, no fresh violence was reported from Tuticorin which witnessed a large scale violence on May 22 and 23, reports PTI. Buses with police security were operated to a few locations from Tuticorin city and security was tightened in all the districts of the State.
Demonstrations staged by DMK, Congress and other friendly parties in several parts of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry
DMK, its ally Congress and friendly parties like MDMK, VCK, CPI, CPI(M) and MMK staged demonstrations in several parts in Tamil and neighbouring Puducherry. They were protesting to condemn the Tuticorin violence in which 13 people lost their lives. The opposition also demanded that Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami must tender his resignation as the state government was not able to control the situation.
Supreme Court to hear petition on Thoothukudi police firing on Monday
Taking cognisance of a petition filed by GS Mani, the Supreme Court today asked the petitioner to mention the matter again on Monday.
The top court said it can't hear the matter today. Mani has sought a court-monitored CBI probe into the Thoothukudi police firing, reports ANI.
DMK's Kanimozhi, VCK's Thirumavalavan among those detained by police in opposition protest against Thoothukudi firing
As the opposition protest against the police action in Tuticorin gathers pace, DMK's Kanimozhi and VCK's Thirumavalavan are among those detained by police in Chennai's Egmore, reports ANI.
Home Ministry to look into the loss of lives in Tuticorin: Rajnath
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday condoled the loss of lives in Tuticorin and said the MHA has taken cognisance of the matter. He also said that Prime Minister Modi is anguished by the incident. READ MORE
Transport services likely to be affected in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry
In view of the bandh call given by DMK and other opposition parties in Tamil Nadu, transport services are likely to be affected in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
Company wants to restart operations with community support, says Vedanta chief
Describing the loss of 12 lives in violent protests in Tuticorin as “unfortunate”, Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal Thursday said Sterlite Copper would like to continue operations at the company’s plant with support from the community.
In a video message on Twitter, Agarwal claimed that the company strictly abide by the rules when it came to following anti-pollution norms. “I am very sad to hear the incident… This was absolutely unfortunate. My full sympathy is with the families (of the deceased),” Agarwal said.
Police had opened fire on protesters in Tuticorin in which 12 people were killed. The toll rose to 13 on Thursday
Protests against the Vedanta owned plant - Sterlite Copper - in Tuticorin have been on for several months but on Tuesday police opened fire on protesters after clashes. The DMK and other Opposition parties have called for a dawn-to-dusk bandh today in protest against the police action. 13 people have been killed due to the police firing so far.