On 28 May, the Tamil Nadu government ordered the closure of the Vedanta-owned Sterlite plant in Tuticorin, six days after 13 people were killed in police firing during protests.
Violence broke out on 22 May, the 100th day that the protesters had gathered in Tuticorin to demand that the plant be closed for causing severe environmental damage and endangering health of residents.
An FIR revealed that a special deputy tehsildar ordered the police to open fire on peaceful protesters. On his part, special deputy tehsildar Shekhar said he ordered the firing to save lives and properties at the collector’s office.
- The DMK has called the TN government’s order to shut down the Sterlite plant an “eyewash”
- Normalcy returned to Tuticorin on 28 May after authorities lifted prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC
- Tamil Nadu CM E Palaniswamy had announced ex-gratia compensations for the families of the victims
CPI (M) Wants CBI Probe into Tuticorin Shooting
The CPI(M) on Sunday, 3 June, demanded that the probe into the police firing which killed 13 people during protests last month to demand closure of the Sterlite plant over pollution concerns, "be handed over to the CBI, monitored by the Madras High Court".
Madras HC Orders TN to Explain Thoothukudi Firing
The Madras High Court's Madurai Bench on Friday, 1 June, ordered the Tamil Nadu government to state the reasons by 6 June, for the 22 May police firing in Tuticorin which left 13 persons dead.
The court’s order came as it heard a petition demanding registration of murder cases against senior police and other government officials for the firing and also setting up a Special Investigative Team (SIT). The government was asked to submit its report by 6 June.
(With inputs from IANS)
Opposition will not Boycott Assembly Session: DMK's Stalin
In the aftermath of the anti-Sterlite protests in Thoothukudi, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working President M K Stalin on Saturday said the Opposition has decided not to boycott the ongoing Assembly session.
"DMK will take part in state assembly proceedings from Monday. This has been decided as many issues have to be taken up in the Assembly. " - M K Stalin
‘It’s Just an Eyewash’: Stalin on TN Govt Order
DMK’s working president MK Stalin reacted to the Tamil Nadu government’s order to shut down the Sterlite plant in Tuticorin, calling it an “eyewash” and indicating that it might have an “hidden agenda”.
"Had this government order been passed before the death of 13 people, we would have welcomed it… If the victims of the Tuticorin police firing do not get justice, we shall approach the court." - MK Stalin
On 31 May, the Tamil Nadu government filed a caveat before the Supreme Court in connection with the closure of the Sterlite plant.
'This Victory Should be Dedicated to Those Who Lost Their Lives': Rajinikanth
Along with Kamal Haasan, star actor Rajinikanth also responded to the Tamil Nadu government’s order to shut down the Sterlite plant in Tuticorin, saying, “This victory should be dedicated to the people who lost their lives during the protests.”
In an audio message posted on Twitter, Rajinikanth said, “I pray to God that protests of such a nature should not happen again in Tamil Nadu.”
'TN Govt Order a Victory for the Might of the People': Kamal Haasan
Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan hailed the order of the Tamil Nadu government for permanent closure of the Sterlite copper unit in Tuticorin as “a victory for the might of the people”.
In a series of tweets, Haasan said that the people of Tuticorin have changed the “future of Tamil Nadu politics”, adding that his party Makkal Needhi Maiam will partcipate in this process of change.
The recent order of the Tamil Nadu Government for permanent closure of the Sterlite Copper unit in Thoothukudi is a victory for the might of the people. All political parties should humble themselves before this victory of the people; salute the martyrs and learn from them.(1/4)— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) May 28, 2018
The future of TN politics has been changed by the people of Thoothukudi. Now more of Tamil Nadu will help make the change. The purpose of a politician has been redefined by the people. Makkal Needhi Maiam will take the education forward. Honoured to be a Tamilian.(2/4)— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) May 28, 2018
We are witness not just to handfed news anymore. We have started becoming the change.The Government should have been sensitive to the protests of local people for over 100 days and acted swiftly, which would have avoided the needless and unfortunate loss of lives last week.(3/4)— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) May 28, 2018
Any legal challenge to this order by the Company should be defended appropriately by the State Government to ensure that the present order is permanently implemented.(4/4)— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) May 28, 2018
TN Govt Orders Permanent Closure of Sterlite Copper Plant
The Tamil Nadu government issued a Government Order on Monday, 28 May, directing the state Pollution Control Board to seal the Vedanta group's copper plant and close it down "permanently”.
The Government Order (GO) said it endorsed the recent closure direction of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), and also asked the TNPCB to "seal the unit and close the plant permanently".
The document cited the Constitution's directive principles of state policy (Article 48-A) enjoining protection of environment, and provisions of the Water Act, 1974, to order the permanent closure of the copper factory "in the larger public interest".
It referred to the PCB order of 9 April refusing to renew its consent to allow Vedanta's copper smelter plant at Tuticorin to operate.
CM Palaniswami said the government has issued the GO in deference to the sentiments of the people.
SC Refuses to Give Urgent Hearing to Plea Filed Over Alleged Police Atrocities
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to give an urgent hearing to the plea filed over alleged police atrocities during protests against the Sterlite plant. The court said that it would be hearing the plea after the vacation, reported ANI.
FIR Reveals That Special Deputy Tehsildar Shekhar Ordered Police Firing
FIR revealed that special deputy tehsildar ordered the police firing. In his complaint, special deputy tehsildar Shekhar said he ordered the firing to save lives and properties at the collector’s office.
FIR reveals that special deputy Tahsildar Shekhar ordered police firing.Says he ordered firing to save lives and property at the Collector’s Office.Has filed a complaint against 20 organisations under 15 sections of IPC and other acts.@TheQuint #SterliteProtest #Tuticorin pic.twitter.com/irLUbABzUH— Smitha T K (@smitha_tarur) May 28, 2018
The FIR says more than 10,000 people were marching towards the collector’s office with deadly weapons and police tried to disperse them by using tear gas and lathi-charge. When all this failed, they resorted to firing.
A complaint has been filed against 20 organisations under 15 sections of the IPC as well as other acts.
AIADMK Sacks IT Wing Member over Derogatory Tweet
AIADMK sacked its IT wing member Hari Prabhakaran from all party posts following his tweet comparing journalists to dogs.
Hours later, he deleted the tweet and apologised.
All opinions expressed by me are personal and it is not official party view. I'm not authorised to express party views. I heard few people got hurt due to one of my tweet this morning .I don't have any animosity towards any group of people. My apologies to those who r hurt.— Hari Prabhakaran (@Hariadmk) May 28, 2018
Sterlite Copper Plant Will be Shut Permanently: Panneerselvam
Tamil Nadu Deputy CM O Panneerselvam asserted on Monday, 28 May, that the government will take resolute steps for the permanent closure of Vedanta group's copper plant in Tuticorin. Visiting the Tuticorin General Hospital, he said:
"I express my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims. It is was an unfortunate incident. I met those who were injured in the protests and wished them a speedy recovery. The government will do its duty for permanently closing down the plant. The district administration is doing everything to bring Tuticorin back to normalcy." - O Panneerselvam
The Deputy Chief Minister said even if there were legal challenges in the closure of the plant, it will be faced, and the government will take resolute steps to permanently close down the Vedanta group's copper unit in Tuticorin.
TN Govt Doubles Ex-Gratia Compensation, Victims' Kin to Get Rs 20 Lakh Each
The Tamil Nadu Government doubled the compensation to families of the 13 people killed in police firing last week during anti-Sterlite plant protests, from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.
The compensation for those seriously injured has also been increased to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 3 lakh and for those with minor injuries, to Rs 1.50 lakh from Rs one lakh.
An official release quoted Chief Minister K Palaniswami as saying he issued the orders to increase the ex-gratia (from the earlier amounts announced on 22 May) after considering requests to the government from various sections. Those who were injured in the firing have been assured Rs 5 lakh compensation instead of the previously announced Rs 3 lakh.
Internet Services to Be Restored in Tuticorin Tonight
Internet services will be restored in Tuticorin from tonight, Tamil Nadu DGP TK Rajendran said to ANI.
"Internet facility will be restored from tonight. People can avail services without any problem. We are also withdrawing some officers from some areas, but we are keeping adequate forces on the ground. I request the people’s co-operation." - TK Rajendran, DGP, Tamil Nadu
Fishermen Demand Closure of Sterlite Industries in Tuticorin
Fishermen from Tuticorin have demanded immediate closure of Sterlite industries. They alleged that chemical waste from the industry has affected the river and ponds in the area.
Section 144 Lifted in Tuticorin
Section 144 which was imposed in Tuticorin after the Sterlite protests, has now been lifted, reported ANI.
Appalled by Brutal Use of Force Agains Peaceful Protestors: Oxfam India
Oxfam India, an NGO that works for the empowerment of the underprivileged, has put out a statement saying that they are “appalled by the use of brutal force against peaceful protesters in Tuticorin”. The body also said the government should act in the interest of people and “not to protect the interest of private companies”.
“This is a clear case where the company did not meaningfully consult the community on concerns raised for over a long period despite having a policy on stakeholder engagement and human rights,” said Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar.
"In a recent analysis of the disclosures of the top 100 companies listed on Bombay Stock Exchange it was found that almost all companies score less than 25 percent on the parameter of ‘community as business stakeholders’ while Vedanta scored 17 percent. There is an urgent need to strongly enforce global standards on business and human rights across all Indian companies to prevent such grave violations from reoccurring." - Oxfam India
Journalists, Film Fraternity Stage Protests
Writers, journalists and members of Tamil Nadu film fraternity staged protests in Chennai's Chepauk against the death of 13 people in police firing during Anti-Sterlite protests in Tuticorin, reported ANI.
Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan wrote to the Tamil Nadu government raising number of questions about the firings in Tuticorin by the police, which resulted in at least 13 civilians losing their lives.
We have received numerous complaints on the Tuticorin firing incident from concerned citizens across TN on our Mobile App Maiam Whistle.— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) May 25, 2018
Will the Government of Tamil Nadu, answer these questions raised by Makkal Needhi Maiam? pic.twitter.com/DDo88pJoM2
Will Look Into Demands For Closure of Sterlite: Environment Minister
Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said he will look into the demands of the protesters seeking the closure of Vedanta's Sterlite copper unit 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 told PTI when asked about the issue.
Protests in Jaffna Over 13 People Killed in Police Firing in Tuticorin
Protesters in Sri Lanka’s Jaffna held a demonstration against the police firing on protesters who participated in the anti-Sterlite protests in Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu that killed at least 13 people, The Hindu reported.
Stalin Leads Protest Against Tuticorin Violence in Kanchipuram
DMK Working President MK Stalin on 25 May staged a protest demonstration, leading a road blockade near Kanchipuram against the Tuticorin violence which saw death of 13 persons in police firing.
TN Govt Sends Report to Home Ministry
According to ANI, Tamil Nadu government has sent a detailed report on the Tuticorin killings and the current law and order situation to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Delhi High Court Directs NHRC Intervention
Delhi High Court has directed the National Human Rights Commission to take representation of the petitioner who sought commission to directly probe 13 deaths in police firing during protests against Sterlite industries in Tuticorin.
NHRC has sought reports from Tamil Nadu DGP and chief secretary.
Madras High Court Issues Notice to TN Government
Madras High Court has issued a notice to the Tamil Nadu government over a petition filed against Tuticorin firing, reported News18.
The high court has also directed the government to restore internet services in the area, reported News18.
SC Asks GS Mani to Mention the Matter on 28 May
Supreme Court has asked the petitioner GS Mani, who had filed a petition seeking a CBI investigation against the Collector, SP and other police officials in Tuticorin, to mention the matter again on Monday, 28 May.
DMK's Kanimozhi Detained
As the opposition leaders protest in Chennai against the government’s inaction in Tuticorin, DMK’s Kanimozhi and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi’s Thirumavalavan have been detained.
Speaking to the reporters, Kanimozhi has slammed the EPS government for its inaction and ignoring the plight of the people in Tuticorin.
Vedanta Bribed AIADMK: TTV Dhinakaran
TTV Dhinakaran told The Quint that the AIADMK government was ignoring the people.
“This AIADMK government has been bribed by the Vedanta group and that's why, to save the company, they fired at innocent people. Tell the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister to stop watching this on TV and to come to Tuticorin and address the people,” he alleged.
.@TTVDhinakaran : This #AIADMK government has been bribed by the Vedanta group and that's why, to save the company they fired at innocent people. Tell @CMOTamilNadu to stop watching this on TV and come to #Thoothukudi and address the people. @TheQuint #SterliteProtest #Sterlite pic.twitter.com/CZXMpGB8yQ— Smitha T K (@smitha_tarur) May 25, 2018
Protestors Demand EPS' Resignation
Responding to DMK and other opposition parties’ call for a statewide bandh, protestors have hit the streets in Chennai demanding Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s resignation over his lack of administration in handling the Tuticorin violence, reported The News Minute.
Vedanta Benefited from NDA's Interpretation of Law: Reports
According to a report in the Business Standard, Vedanta got environmental clearances from the union ministry in December 2014.
The report claims that the ministry gave its own interpretation of the green regulations which helped the Tuticorin plant to be constructed without taking the people into confidence.
This is when the UPA government, in May 2014, had specified that plants like Vedanta’s Tuticorin plant were required to go through public consultation.
DMK Calls for a Statewide Bandh
DMK and other opposition parties have called for a statewide bandh in Tamil Nadu condemning the lack of government action in Tuticorin, reported The News Minute.
The press release from DMK reads, “We decided to observe a one-day bandh on 25 May to condemn the shooting, to close down the Sterlite plant and to strongly criticise the govt for unleashing State-sponsored terrorism.”
Section 144 Extended to 27 May: Report
According to Deccan Herald, the Section 144 that has been imposed in the city has been extended to 27 May.
Electricity Has Been Cut Off: Collector
The district collector in a statement said that by cutting off electricity supply to the plant, the government had showcased its interest in shutting down the plant.
The IG of South Range, Shailesh Kumar, meanwhile said:
"Total of 13 people have died, including 11 men and 2 women. And 102 people have been injured out of which 19 are severe cases. Vehicles worth Rs 1 crore 27 lakh have been burnt down."
'Saddened Over Events': Vedanta Chairman
Almost two days after 13 people were killed over protests against Sterlite in Tuticorin, the Vedanta group’s chairman Anil Agarwal came out to issue a statement, claiming that he was ‘saddened by the unfortunate turn of events’.
Saddened by the unfortunate turn of events at Tuticorin. pic.twitter.com/yURUUdlwn3— Anil Agarwal (@AnilAgarwal_Ved) May 24, 2018
Plea in Delhi HC for NHRC Intervention
A plea was moved in the Delhi High Court seeking direct intervention of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) into the killings in Tuticorin.
The court is likely to hear the petition filed by A Rajarajan tomorrow.
Protests Over Sterlite Row in Bengaluru
Protesters gathered outside the Vedanta office on Bengaluru’s MG Road to condemn the killings.
Chennai Up in Arms Over Violence
In a massive uprising, several groups in Chennai have taken to the streets to condemn the Sterlite protests and killings in Tuticorin.
According to Dinakaran, police personnel have been deployed across the city to regulate the rallies and avoid any untoward incidents.
Congress Addresses Media Over Sterlite Protests
Live: Congress addresses media attacking central and state govt over violence in TuticorinPosted by The Quint on Thursday, May 24, 2018
Addressing a press conference over the Sterlite protests, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said it was the ‘polluted mindset’ of the government that led to the killing of the people.
Attacking both the central and the state governments for inaction, Singhvi said:
"Why is our PM still silent on the violence in Tuticorin? He has free time to accept a challenge and throw counter-challenges, but has no time to speak about the challenges of violence and rising fuel prices. We want to ask the PM, is the Tamil Nadu CM fit to govern the state? This is another fitness challenge we want to throw at the PM."
Questioning the prime minister's silence, he said that both "government and governance had retired hurt".
Singhvi also questioned the government's lack of action, stating that despite clear videos and proof of targeted killings there have been no suspensions.
Over 130 People Arrested: Tuticorin Collector
Tuticorin Collector Sandeep Nanduri said that over 130 persons had been arrested in connection with the violence in the district.
Speaking to reporters, he said:
"65 people have been arrested and remanded for indulging in violence during the protests. Another 68 people have been arrested and will be produced in front of the magistrate for causing damage to public property and indulging in violence." -
SC Lawyer Files Writ Petition
Supreme Court lawyer GS Mani has filed a writ petition in the apex court, seeking a CBI investigation against the Collector, SP and other police officials in Tuticorin.
According to Livelaw, the plea filed by Mani terms the killings “a pre-planned murdered committed by the police personnel...”
Incident Happened Because It Got a Green Signal from CM: TTV Dhinakaran
Sidelined leader TTV Dhinakaran told reporters at Tuticorin, “Merely transferring Collector and SP is not enough. The chief minister should step down. This incident took place because it got a green signal from the top (CM).”
Caught on Camera: Policemen Drag Man Out of His Home in Tuticorin
A video purportedly showing a group of policemen dragging a man out of his home in Tuticorin surfaced.
Residents of Tuticorin have also alleged that the police have been going from door to door and threatening and assaulting them.
New Tuticorin Collector Sworn in
A new collector of Tuticorin has taken oath and is at the hospital, to meet the patients. Sidelined leader TTV Dhinakaran also arrived at the hospital.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh Condoles Death
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh took to Twitter to condole the deaths in Tuticorin and said, “The MHA has taken cognisance of the situation and sought a report on the incident and the prevailing situation from the state government.”
I am deeply pained at the loss of precious lives during the agitation at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu. The MHA has taken cognisance of the situation and sought a report on the incident and the prevailing situation from the state government.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) May 24, 2018
My thoughts are with bereaved families. I also pray for the speedy recovery of the injured. I appeal to the people in Tuticorin to remain calm and maintain peace and tranquility in the region.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) May 24, 2018
TN CM E Palaniswami Addresses Media Over Sterlite Protest Row
Defending the police firing at the protests that killed at least 12 people, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami said, “If someone is attacked, the natural course would be to defend and safeguard themselves. This is what has been done by the police in response.”
Accusing the opposition of instigating the protestors, he said, “The entire episode which happened was primarily because of certain political parties, NGOs and anti-social elements, who took protestors to a wrong path.”
Live: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami breaks his silence over Sterlite Protests row.Posted by The Quint on Thursday, May 24, 2018
Inquiry Will Be Done by a Judge Appointed by TN Govt: Tuticorin District Collector
Tuticorin district collector told ANI that his first priority is to restore normalcy in the troubled areas.
"My first priority is to bring back normalcy. As far as the violence, the shooting and who gave the orders for the shooting is concerned, an inquiry will be done by a judge appointed by the Tamil Nadu government." - Sandeep Nanduri, Tuticorin District Collector
DMK's Stalin Detained During Protest
DMK working President MK Stalin, who was holding a protest outside Tamil Nadu secretariat has been detained by the police. Several others have also been detained, reported ANI.
DMK Working President Demands Chief Minister's Resignation
" Even after death of 12 innocent people, no action has been taken against the culprits. CM has become ineffective. He did not bother to visit the district and meet the people. Therefore, we demand that CM resign immediately. DGP Rajendran must also resign. " - MK Stalin, DMK Working President
Sterlite Row: Where Is Our Crowd Control Failing? Expert Weighs In
TV channels aired a video from Tuesday in which at least two police officials were seen getting on top of a van and taking aim at protesters to shoot them down. The incident has put the Tamil Nadu Police under the scanner and again raised the question of where Indian officials are failing at crowd control measures.
Retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer and former Director General of Police in Uttar Pradesh, Vikram Singh, weighs in on the Thoothukudi violence and points out how the police failed miserably at controlling the mob. Click the below-mentioned story to know more.
Section 144 Enforced
Enforcement of Section 144 in Tuticorin has thrown the normal life out of gear. Shops have remained shut for the third straight day, and the locals have been unable to buy essentials.
Pollution Board Orders Closure of Copper Smelter
Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board on Wednesday, 23 May, directed the closure and disconnection of power supply to M/s. Vedanta Limited – Copper Smelter. The board directed the closure of the Vedanta Copper Smelter after non-compliance of its procedure. The electricity board was also asked to cut the power supply. Vedanta had, two days ago, issued an official response, saying that the plant was already defunct. Vedanta had also demanded security for its employees.
MK Stalin Visits Victims of the Firing in Hospital
On Wednesday, 23 May, DMK working president MK Stalin visited a government hospital to meet the people who had been injured in the police firing in the police firing incident.
Tuticorin Superintendent of Police and Collector Transferred
The Collector of Tuticorin as well as the Superintendent of Police for Tuticorin have been transferred, ANI reported. Thiru P Mahendran, Superintendent of Police, Tuticorin and N Venkatesh, Collector, Tuticorin were transferred late on 23 May.
This came shortly after the suspension of internet services in Tuticorin, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari.
Tuticorin Collector Venkatesh has been transferred and Tirunelveli Collector Sandeep Nanduri has been posted in his place. Tuticorin SP also transferred. @TheQuint #SterliteProtest pic.twitter.com/vze2HBBegp— Smitha T K (@smitha_tarur) May 23, 2018
Sterlite Copper CEO: We Haven't Flouted Any Environmental Norms, Why Protest Now?
In an interview with CNN News-18, Sterlite Copper’s CEO P Ramnath chastised the residents of Tuticorin and activists for protesting. He denied any violation of environmental norms, stating that there were no protests for five years.
"Our plant has been in compliance with environmental rules. Various myths have been propagated about the plant, these protests are unnecessary. " - P Ramnath, CEO, Sterlite Copper to CNN News-18
Protests Outside Tamil Nadu Bhawan in New Delhi
Citizens' groups and students' organisations staged a protest outside the Tamil Nadu Bhawan in New Delhi, condemning the Tamil Nadu government for the killing of the anti-Sterlite plant agitators in Tuticorin in police firing.
Over 60 protesters raised slogans and demanded parleys with the Principal Resident Commissioner of Tamil Nadu, Jasbir Singh Bajaj.
The security, however, put up barricades and prevented them from entering the campus.
Shutting down the Sterlite plant in Tuticorin, a judicial inquiry into the police firing, action against police officers, an independent inquiry into the company's financing by the comptroller and auditor-general (CAG) were some of the demands of the protesters.
Representatives of the All India Students' Federation, Muslim Yuva Morcha, National Alliance of People's Movements, All India Students' Association, JNU Students' Union and Students Islamic Organisation of India took part in the protest.
CSE, Amnesty Condemn Killing of Protestors in Tuticorin
A green body condemned the killing of innocent anti-Sterlite plant agitators in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin and said the present situation reflects "complete failure" of environmental governance in the country.
Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said people's interests should be looked into over the company's business interests as it recommended permanent closure of the plant along with a plan to decontaminate the site and the surrounding environment.
At the same time, rights group Amnesty International India said the excessive use of force by the Tamil Nadu police is a "damning indictment" of the state government's determination to crush the protests.
Internet Services Suspended in Tuticorin, Tirunelveli, and Kanyakumari
Internet services suspended for five days May 23-27 in #Thoothukudi, Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli districts. Order says “a public emergency has arisen” and so internet services will be stopped to prevent spreading of “rumours with half truths”. #SterliteProtest @TheQuint pic.twitter.com/3D4RzXqbXx— Smitha T K (@smitha_tarur) May 23, 2018
Internet services were suspended in Tuticorin, Tirunelveli, and Kanyakumari following violence and clashes between police and protesters, on 23 May.
Services are likely to remain suspended till 27 May, as per the request letter accessed by The Quint. Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan tweeted about the suspension of internet services, stating that, “No Government is strong enough to take on the might of my people.”
Internet connection cut in Thooththukkudi? Alarming! What next? excommunicate Tamilnadu? TN would see an uprising,much bigger than any, in its history. No Government is strong enough to take on the might of my people.— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) May 23, 2018
Opposition Guns For Tamil Nadu CM E Palaniswami
Working president of the DMK, MK Stalin, questioned the Tamil Nadu government about the police’s use of lethal force on protesters, and asked why non-lethal methods were not used by the police. The statement came shortly after the party leader met the victims of the violence, who were hospitalised.
Stalin also demanded that E Palaniswami resign from his post as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
Simultaneously, TTV Dhinakaran, MLA for RK Nagar, chided the Government, calling the violence a culmination of the government’s indifference to the previous 100 days of protest.
Kamal Haasan Booked For Violation of Section 144: Local Media
Tamil news channel Puthiya Thalaimurai reported that the police had registered a case against actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan for violating Section 144 of the IPC, after he visited the government hospital in Tuticorin where those hurt in the protests are admitted.
Rajinikanth Condemns Firing on Protesters
Actor Rajinikanth posted a video on Twitter, condemning the police firing on protesters on Tuesaday, and expressing condolences to the families of victims.
Meanwhile, DMDK Chief and actor-turned-politican Vijayakanth wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for the Sterlite plant to be closed permanently, according to a report from CNN News-18.
Post-mortem Underway, Protesters Set Bus Afire
Hundreds of police officials, dressed in full riot gear, are stationed outside the hospital where the post-mortem of those who were killed yesterday is being conducted. A bus was set ablaze by a group of protesters outside the hospital in Tuticorin.
The News Minute reports that the police used tear gas to disperse the crowd.
NHRC Issues Notice
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to Tamil Nadu chief secretary and Director General of Police (DGP) over the incident of firing in which 11 people were killed in Tuticorin.
It sought a report from the authorities in two weeks.
Retired Judge Aruna Jagadeesan to Lead Probe
Retired Judge Aruna Jagadeesan will lead the inquiry committee set up by the Tamil Nadu government to probe the law and order situation and circumstances under which 11 people died in a police firing in Tuticorin.
Kamal Haasan Meets Victims of Police Firing
After meeting the victims of police firing, Kamal Haasan said:
"We must know who ordered this firing. It is not me, but the victims who are demanding this. Mere announcement of compensation isn’t a solution. This industry must be shut, and this is what people demand." -
Madras High Court Stays Construction of New Copper Smelter
The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday, 23 May, stayed the construction of Sterlite’s new copper smelter, a day after protests turned violent.
Vedanta Ltd Shares Hit the Lowest in 10 Months
Shares of Vedanta Ltd fell to their lowest since July 5, 2017, after at least nine people were killed in the southern state of Tamil Nadu when police fired at violent protesters calling for the closure of a copper smelter run by parent Vedanta Resources Plc, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
Shares were down 3.2 percent as of 10.30 am, after falling as much as 5.50 percent earlier in the session.
Union Home Ministry Seeks Report
The Union Home Ministry on Wednesday sought a report from the Tamil Nadu government on the police firing in which 11 protesters were killed on Tuesday.
MDMK Chief Vaiko Visits Victims
Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(MDMK) Chief Vaiko on Wednesday met those injured during protests against Sterlite industries in Tamil Nadu.
Actor Kamal Haasan to Pay Last Respects to Victims
Actor Kamal Haasan is on his way to Tuticorin to pay tribute to 11 victims who fell prey to police firing yesterday. “I am coming to Tuticorin to be with you during the time of sorrow,” he wrote on Twitter.
.@ikamalhaasan : When I had come to visit you all a week back, you welcomed me with such love. Now I am coming to #Tuticorin to be with you during the time of sorrow.— Smitha T K (@smitha_tarur) May 23, 2018
Hassan is expected to leave to Bangalore for swearing in of @hd_kumaraswamy after this visit.#MakkalNeedhiMaiam https://t.co/q8RP6Ntt5m
Madras High Court to Deliver Interim Order on New Copper Smelter
The Madras High Court, which had reserved its order last week on a PIL seeking quashing of the environmental clearance granted to Vedanta Limited's copper smelter unit in Thoothukudi district, will deliver an interim order today.
Justices M Sundar and Anita Sumant of the Madurai bench of the high court had reserved the order on a plea by Fathima Babu, an environmentalist, seeking to stay the environmental clearance to Vedanta's copper smelter unit (formerly Sterlite Industries Limited) by the central government in 2009, subsequently renewed in 2015 and 2016.
She also wanted exemplary costs to be imposed on the company for damaging the environment.
Sterlite Copper Expresses Sorrow Over Violence in Tuticorin
Sterlite Copper has released an official statement expressing sorrow and regret over the deaths that took place during the anti-Sterlite protest in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin on Tuesday.
In a late night statement, Sterlite Cooper said it has appealed to the government and the authorities to ensure safety of its employees and the surrounding communities, ANI reported.
It added that the plant is currently non-operational as the company was awaiting approval for it.
"It's with great sorrow and regret that we witnessed today's incidents around the protest today at Tuticorin. The company has appealed to government and authorities to ensure safety of our employees, facilities and surrounding communities. Sterlite Copper plant is non-operational as we await approval for the consent to operate," the statement read.
Journalist Godson Dass Shares his Experience
Godson Wisely Dass S, a Thoothukudi-based journalist, wrote on Twitter that May 22, the day 11 protesters were killed in a police firing, it was an "unforgettable" day. Dass ran for 200 metres to escape please from, he wrote.
May 22 rally against Sterlite Copper in Thoothukudi, was an Unforgettable day. My run for 200 metres to escape police firing. High heartbeats- don't give up- don't look back- run a little more., was that my mind saying. Heard bullet sounds to the nearest. All racing one another.— Godson Wisely Dass S (@tnie_godson) May 22, 2018
CPI (M) Condemns Attack on Protesters
CPI (M) on Tuesday night condemned the killings of 11 people who were killed in a police firing at the Sterlite protest.
CPIM strongly condemns the Tamil Nadu Police firing at the #SterliteProtest which has cost several lives. People were peacefully protesting environmental damages & cancer deaths caused by Sterlite copper industry.— CPI (M) (@cpimspeak) May 22, 2018
CPIM will protest this barbaric act of the Tamil Nadu govt. pic.twitter.com/0vg2GxBzhR
Firing Used as Last Resort: DGP
Thoothukudi DGP TK Rajendran, in a press release, claimed that police used tear gas, lathi charge as protesters indulged in uncontrollable violence. He added that firing was used as a last resort, and led to a “few deaths.”
Plant Non-Operational Till Consent Granted: Sterlite Company's Statement
“The plant is currently non-operational as we await approval of the consent to operate,” News18 reported quoting Sterlite company’s statement.
Expressing “sorrow and regret” over the protests that claimed eleven lives, the company appealed to the government and the authorities to ensure their employees’ safety, News18 tweeted.
Viral Video Allegedly Shows Police Using Assault Rifles on Protesters
A video has gone viral allegedly showing the police using assault rifles on protesters. The News18 Tamil Nadu's video raises doubts over the state government’s claims of only using tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters.
#WATCH Local police in Tuticorin seen with assault rifles to disperse protesters demanding a ban on Sterlite Industries. 9 protestors have lost their lives. #TamilNadu. (Earlier visuals) pic.twitter.com/hinYmbtIZQ— ANI (@ANI) May 22, 2018
Tamil Nadu Govt Releases List of the Deceased
Tension simmers in Thoothukudi after protests against the Sterlite plant turned violent on Tuesday. At least 11 people including women have been killed and over a dozen injured following clashes between police and demonstrators. @TheQuint #SterliteProtest #SterliteKillings pic.twitter.com/YKMucareLM— Smitha T K (@smitha_tarur) May 22, 2018
Around 65 people were seriously wounded during the protests.
A Glimpse of Anti-Sterlite Protests That Turned Violent in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin
At Least 11 Killed, Over a Dozen Injured During Clashes in Tuticorin
At least eleven people have been killed in the anti-sterlite protests that hit Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin, according to an official statement released by the governor condoling the deaths.
Police Action Equals State-Sponsored Terrorism: Rahul Gandhi
Congress President Rahul Gandhi called the killings a brutal example of “state-sponsored terrorism.”
The gunning down by the police of 9 people in the #SterliteProtest in Tamil Nadu, is a brutal example of state sponsored terrorism. These citizens were murdered for protesting against injustice. My thoughts & prayers are with the families of these martyrs and the injured.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 22, 2018
DMK, Makkal Needhi Maiam Condemn Tense Situation
DMK working president MK Stalin, in a Facebook post, hit out at the ruling AIADMK government over the tense situation, blaming the government for turning a blind eye to the people's movement in Thoothukudi. Stalin also demanded closure of the plant at the earliest.
நீண்ட நாட்களாக தொடர்ந்து ஸ்டர்லைட் போராட்டம் நடத்தி வருவதை அதிமுக அரசு கண்டு கொள்ளவும் இல்லை. சுமூக தீர்வு காணவும்...Posted by M. K. Stalin on Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam also condemned the firing by the police in Thoothukudi.
Condemning the police firing, actor Rajinikanth said the Tamil Nadu government’s inaction is responsible for the deaths in Tuticorin.
“The government should take responsibility for the loss of life and violence,” he said in a tweet.
மக்களின் உணர்வுகளை மதிக்காத இந்த அரசின் அலட்சியப்போக்கின் விளைவாக இன்று பொதுமக்கள் சுடப்பட்டு உயிரிழப்புகள் ஏற்பட்டிருப்பது மிகவும் வருந்தத்தக்கது, கண்டிக்கத்தக்கது.நடந்த வன்முறை மற்றும் பொது ஜன உயிரிழப்புகளுக்கு தமிழகஅரசே பொறுப்பு.— Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth) May 22, 2018
CM Edappadi Palaniswamy Announces Ex-Gratia For Victims
Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each for those killed during protests and Rs 3 lakh each for the injured and government jobs for the family members of the deceased. An inquiry commission will also be set up for investigation into the incident, he said.
Hon'ble CM-Press Release-Thoothukudi dt sterlite industry-violence-death-Date 22.05.2018 pic.twitter.com/ItkoFoMIZn— Edappadi K Palaniswami (@CMOTamilNadu) May 22, 2018
As tension simmered in Thoothukudi, the Tamil Nadu CM appealed to the public to maintain peace.
"20,000 people took out a rally towards Sterlite company and towards Collector’s office and some indulged in violence. They indulged in arson in the Collector’s office and pelted stones at the Collector’s office. To control the violence, police had no other option but to swing into action." - Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami’s statement
In the statement, the chief minister assured that the Tamil Nadu government will take all necessary legal steps on sterlite issue.
“I request people to maintain peace and have faith in the government,” he said.
Despite Section 144, Protesters Rally To Collector’s Office
District Collector N Venkatesh had issued a prohibitory order under Section 144 in view of the protest, while granting permission for the protest only at the SAV ground near Thoothukudi old bus stand.
In spite of Section 144 being imposed in the area, the protesters rallied to the district Collectorate opposing the Sterlite Copper unit. As part of the protest, they had planned to gherao the Collector’s office as well as the Sterlite plant.
However, angered over not being allowed to take out a rally, the slogan-shouting protesters forcibly tried to push the security personnel away.
As the agitation against the #Sterlite plant in #Tuticorin entered the 100th day, things turned quite violent.@TheQuint #SterliteProtestMay22nd2018— Smitha T K (@smitha_tarur) May 22, 2018
Read the latest updates: https://t.co/yumszL4G16 pic.twitter.com/KKgXgDlWTE
Situation gets tense in #Tuticorin as protesters and police clash. One man has died and at least 10 injured as many protesters began pelting stones and police used tear gas and lathi charge to control the crowd. #SterliteProtest @TheQuint pic.twitter.com/rFraFfcW0K— Smitha T K (@smitha_tarur) May 22, 2018
Over 4,000 police personnel were deployed to prevent the crowding, but it proved to be futile as protesters at various areas breached the barricades and marched towards the Collectorate.
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