Anti-sterlite protest turns violent in Tamil Nadu 20 hurt

Vedanta Sterlite Tamil Nadu Violence: 9 Dead As Police Fire During ...

The protesters threw stones at the collector's office, Mr Palaniswami said in a statement.

Chennai: Nine people were killed as police opened fire on protesters who went on a rampage today demanding closure of a copper smelting plant in Tamil Nadu's port city of Tuticorin, prompting the ruling AIADMK government to issue appeals for calm and a promise to take legal action against the plant.

Sterlite Copper is a unit of Vedanta Limited which operates a 400,000-tonne per annum capacity plant in Tuticorin.

Watch this space for more updates
Watch this space for more updates

"Entering the collector's office and (perpetrating) violence is not acceptable". Police units have been rushed from Madurai and Virudhunagar to bring the situation under control. DMK working president M K Stalin squarely blamed the state government for neither preventing the protests nor getting into a dialogue with the protestors for resolving it.

The region has been seeing a few dissents by local people and others against the Sterlite Copper plant here and its proposed development.

Police said almost 5,000 protesters gathered near a local church and insisted on taking a out a rally to the district collectorate after they were denied permission to march to the copper smelter plant.

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The problem started on Tuesday when a mob tried to enter the plant, pelted stones at the Collectorate, overturned and burnt a few police vehicles, and entered Sterlite's residential quarters. Police retaliated in a bid to bring the situation under control.

Section 144 of the CrPC was invoked in and around the Sterlite plant to provide security.

Anti-Sterlite protesters set ablaze two-wheelers parked on the roadside on the Thoothukudi Palayamkottai bypass on May 22, 2018. The CM also said in a statement that the protesters took out a procession towards the collectorate in defiance of the prohibitory orders clamped in the specific area in Tuticorin.

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The latest protest turned violent as a crowd waving black flags stormed the district government headquarters and an apartment block for Vedanta employees, a company official said, declining to be named for fear of being targeted. The use of force by the police was unavoidable, he said. The other political leader from opposition parties have also slammed the police and the state government. "If possible, it will be good to close down the (existing) unit", Makkal Neethi Mayyam chief Kamal Haasan said. Apart from this, activists contend, a plant like Sterlite will require lot of surface water and resources, which may gradually lead to depletion of drinking water in the area and also shortage for agricultural supply. The application has been rejected for want of more clarifications after the state pollution control board found that the factory has not fulfilled some of the major factors including non-submission of a detailed ground water analysis, action not taken to dispose waste and not building a compound wall to arrest water mixing in the nearby river.

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