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Anti-Sterlite protests HIGHLIGHTS: Tamil Nadu govt orders suspension of internet services in Tuticorin, adjoining districts

Anti-Sterlite protests in Thoothukudi: At least 12 people have so far lost their lives in Tamil Nadu as protests against Sterlite's industrial plant intensifies in Tuticorin. Here is the latest news.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 24, 2018 10:39:47 am
Tamil Nadu: Police resort to lathi charge during anti-sterlite protests in Thoothukudi Heavy deployment of police personnel in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu, as hundreds of residents and activists stage an anti-Sterlite protest on Tuesday (Source: ANI)

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.

Read this story in Tamil, Malayalam

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.

Live Blog

Anti-Sterlite protests: Security is heightened in Tuticorin a day after 11 people were killed in police firing. Here is the latest news.

10:39 (IST)24 May 2018
Over to the new blog

To track all the latest developments from Tuticorin on Thursday, follow this 

21:43 (IST)23 May 2018
Protest in Delhi against killings in Tuticorin

Citizens' groups and students in Delhi also protested against the killing of anti-sterlite plant agitators in Tuticorin. The protest, aimed at condemning the death of 12 people in police firing, was staged outside Tamil Nadu Bhawan at Chanakyapuri on Wednesday. The protestors raised slogans and demanded parleys with the Principal Resident Commissioner of Tamil Nadu, Jasbir Singh Bajaj.

21:29 (IST)23 May 2018
Tamil Nadu police was shockingly underprepared to peacefully control protests: Amnesty International India

Amnesty International India also condemned the excessive use of force by the Tamil Nadu police on the anti-sterlite protestors, saying that it is a "damning indictment" of the state government's determination to crush the protests and cannot be justified. Abhirr VP, Senior Campaigner, Amnesty International India said the Tamil Nadu police was shockingly underprepared to peacefully control protests of this magnitude.

"Despite knowing there would be a massive protest on Tuesday, the state police did little to implement crowd control measures that would have avoided the need to resort to force. This could have prevented the death of protestors," Abhirr told PTI

21:26 (IST)23 May 2018
Centre for Science and Environment appeals for decontamination of site

Centre for Science and Environment, a green body, condemning the death of anti-Sterlite protestors in Tuticorin, said the current situation is a reflection of 'complete failure' of environment governance in the country. CSE appealed to the government to look into the interests of the people and suggested shutting down the plant. It also proposed that a plan be put in place to decontaminate the site and the surrounding environment.

21:15 (IST)23 May 2018
TN Governor cancels stay in Nilgiris, returns to Chennai

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, who is in Nilgiris district, today cut short his stay and is returning to Chennai in view of the situation at Tuticorin, PTI reported. Purohit, along with his family, had gone to Udhagamandalam on May 21 to take part in the valedictory of the annual flower show on May 22.

21:12 (IST)23 May 2018
Thoothukudi SP, Collector transfered
21:09 (IST)23 May 2018
Provocative messages being shared on social media: Govt notice to internet service providers

The state government, in its notice to the service providers ordering the suspension of internet, said "provocative messages are spread in social media violently with half truth and anti-social elements are trying to exploit the situation.'' It further read, "a public emergency has arisen which necessitates immediate action and speedy remedy for the public tranquility" and justified the need to block the internet services saying, "it felt necessary that services of internet should be stopped/curtailed to prevent spreading of such information, rumours with half truth."

19:46 (IST)23 May 2018
Vedanta urges TN govt to ensure employees safety

Vedanta Ltd on Wednesday urged the government to ensure safety and security of employees at its copper smelter facility at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu while expressing "regret and sorrow" over incidents of people being killed during protests. The Thootukudi copper smelter at Tutico0rin is run by Vedanta Ltd's Sterlite Copper unit where 12 people have been killed in police firing in response to protests against the plant's expansion on fears of rising pollution.

19:04 (IST)23 May 2018
Tamil Nadu govt orders suspension of internet inThoothukudi

Tamil Nadu government ordered the suspension of internet in Kanyakumari, Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli districts. The home secretary asked service providers to block internet, in a move aimed at preventing rumours from spreading in the violence-hit region.

18:01 (IST)23 May 2018
Anti-sterlite protests in Tuticorin continues
16:51 (IST)23 May 2018
CPI(M) protests in Tuticorin
16:30 (IST)23 May 2018
Madras HC orders to preserve bodies of those killed in Tuticorin
16:28 (IST)23 May 2018
MK Stalin had visited those injured in Tuticorin police firing
15:42 (IST)23 May 2018
Death toll rises to 12 as 23-year-old shot in Tuticorin

Another death has been reported in Tuticorin which continues to face violence. Kaliappan, 23-year-old, was allegedly killed in the police firing which took place after a group of youths pelted stones at SP's vehicle.(Express photo)

15:36 (IST)23 May 2018
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury condemns deaths in Tuticorin
15:24 (IST)23 May 2018
Actor Prakash Raj condemns the violence in Tuticorin
15:21 (IST)23 May 2018
People's apprehensions genuine, shut down plant: CPI(M)

"The protests arose because of the inadequate response of the state administration to the genuine apprehensions of the people concerning air, water and ground contamination. The Politburo demands that plant should be shut down immediately. The state government should hold talks with all stake-holders," the party said in its statement.

15:17 (IST)23 May 2018
CPI(M) demands probe in police 'brutality' and 'merciless shooting'

The CPI(M) on Wednesday demanded the immediate shut down of Sterlite Copper plant in Tuticorin. The Left party condemned the police firing on protesters in which 10 people were killed. The party said the "brutality" of the state police is revealed in the fact that many of those killed and injured have bullet injuries in their heads and faces.

The CPI(M) has demanded that all those responsible for this "merciless shooting" down of protesters be held accountable and immediate legal proceedings initiated against them. The enquiry announced to probe these brutal killings should be headed by a sitting judge of the Madras High Court, it said.

14:58 (IST)23 May 2018
Central Forces on standby

Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba spoke to Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary inquiring about the violence in Tamil Nadu. The Central Forces have also been kept on standby to provide any assistance if required

14:26 (IST)23 May 2018
Security tightened outside Tuticorin's General Hospital

Tamil Nadu: Police resort to lathi charge during anti-sterlite protests in Thoothukudi Residents and activists protest against Sterlite Copper in Thoothukudi on Tuesday (Source: ANI)

The agitation against Sterlite Copper, which represents the copper unit of Vedanta Limited, escalated earlier this year after the company announced the expansion of its unit in the coastal city of Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) in Tamil Nadu. Residents have long demanded the closure of the plant citing health issues caused by the pollution the plant generates. Sterlite Copper, which currently operates a 400,000-tonne per annum unit in the city, maintains that it has received necessary permits and has not violated any norms.

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