Madras High Court stays expansion for Sterlite plant in Thoothukudi

Tuticorin protests were to mark 100 days of their protests against the Sterlite plant

Tuticorin protests were to mark 100 days of their protests against the Sterlite plant

Chennai: Bodies of the individuals who were killed in Tuesday's anti-Sterlite protest in Thoothukudi will be preserved until further orders, the Madras High Court said on Wednesday.

Demonstrations against a copper smelting plant in southern India ended in violence Tuesday after police opened fire on protestors, killing 12, local authorities confirmed.

The Sterlite Copper plant and its proposed expansion in Tuticorin have invited several protests by locals and others who allege that it was polluting groundwater in their area.

People pelt stones during a protest against the construction of a copper smelter by Vedanta Resources from the road, in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu, India in this still image from May 22, 2018 video footage.

Thousands of protesters participated in the rally calling for the closure of the Sterlite copper plant, which posed health threats besides causing damage to the environment.

"I was grieved to know nine persons were unfortunately killed in this incident", he said, expressing his sympathies and condolences for the families of those killed.

At least 11 people have died in anti Sterlite protests in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin
At least 11 people have died in anti Sterlite protests in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin

Appointing retired Judge Aruna Jagadeesan for the task, the government said she would submit her report to the government.

Nine people were killed in police firing yesterday after protests for the closure of Sterlite Copper plant over pollution concerns turned violent. A plea for a CBI probe into the matter was also dismissed by the bench.

They not only pelted policemen with stones but also set on fire their vehicles as well as those parked in the collectorate.

Normal life in the town was virtually crippled on Wednesday, with shops and commercial establishments not opening for business.

District Collector N Venkatesh said the prohibitory orders were extended in Vembar, Kulathur, Arumugamangalam, Vedanatham, Ottapidaram and Eppodum Vendran in Thoothukudi district.

As the struggle continued on the streets of the port city of Thoothukudi, located at the tip of the subcontinent in Tamil Nadu state, an Indian court ordered a halt, at least for a few months, to plans to double the size of the plant. Keeping in view, the simmering situation, effective precautionary measures and deployment of adequate number of police personnel could possibly avert the unfortunate incident.

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