At least 12 people have lost their lives and nine others were critically injured in police firing which took place as protests against Sterlite’s industrial plant intensified in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin). Residents have been demanding the closure of the plant, citing that the pollution it generates is causing serious health issues. The agitation against Sterlite Copper, which represents the copper unit of Vedanta Limited, recently escalated after the company announced the expansion of its unit in the city. Sterlite Copper, which currently operates a 400,000-tonne per annum unit in the city, maintains it has received necessary permits and has not violated any norms.
The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court, in an interim order, stayed the expansion of Vedanta’s Sterlite Copper’s industrial unit on Tuesday. The bench insisted that the company seeks public consultation before expanding its plant.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami on Tuesday ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident and announced compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of those who died.