Nine killed during Vedanta protests

Elias Hubbard
May 23, 2018

Chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami confirmed nine people were killed when the police fired on anti-Sterlite protesters.

At least 30 people were injured, Tuticorin district collector N Venkatesh told ET on the phone on Tuesday, adding that the death toll may rise because two people were in critical condition. Section 144 has been imposed in the city.

The protests against Vedanta's Sterlite Copper plant have been going on in Tuticorin for over three months now, but violence erupted on Tuesday. Many were injured in stone-pelting by the agitators, who also set some vehicles on fire.

The police reportedly resorted to lathi charge, and the use of tear gas and water cannons to disburse a furious crowd. "The government requests the people to hold their peace till such time", it said. The inquiry will be conducted by a retired judge.

Expressing his condolences on the deaths, Chief Minister K Palaniswamy announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the kin of the deceased and a job for a suitable family member.

"Every chota (small) chap now is making big noise-organising road blocks, damaging public property, paralyzing administration, packing away the IPL with snakes, et cetera, et cetera-and yet the police intelligence does not appear to be alert to its responsibilities of bringing to the notice of the government the potential trouble spots before the amber turns red. They are the ones who lose their lives", he said. Several battalions launched black flag protests across Tuticorin only to be faced by strong resistance from the Tamil Nadu police. "However, we chose to carry on with our protests in a non-violent manner", she said.

Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan has arrived at the General Hospital in Kozhikode. However, the time-frame for submitting the report has not been specified.

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board had disapproved the firm's request to renew its licence to run the copper smelter facility.

"I just landed in Bengaluru to the shocking news about the incident near the Sterlite Tuticorin plant".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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