One dead in fresh violence in Thoothukudi Anti-Sterlite Protest


Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami defended the police response in a statement, citing "unavoidable circumstances" and blaming the protestors for resorting to "repeated violence".

Blaming provocative messages spread through social media, the government in an order said such messages led to a massive gathering of about 20,000 people yesterday in Tuticorin against Sterlite's copper plant which subsequently resulted in violence and police action.

Meanwhile, The Sensex and Nifty tanked, dragged by energy stocks such as HPCL and ONGC on rising concern that the government may ask state-owned oil firms to share the burden of higher petrol and diesel prices.

Public transport has been suspended from Thoothukudi to other parts of Tamil Nadu. After the stone-pelting began, the police "had to use minimum force and remove them", Trichy DIG Pradeep Kumar, who's been tasked with maintaining law and order at the premises, said. These citizens were murdered for protesting against injustice.

In fresh police firing here, one person was reported dead and three injured in Anna Nagar on Wednesday.

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Local television showed police trying to disperse the crowd with tear gas and a policeman firing shots from the top of a van.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has also issued a notice to Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary and Director general of police (DGP) over the police firing. About 20 police officers were also injured in the skirmish, which occurred in the southern port city Tuticorin.

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.

Let us not forget that for the second time in two months more than one lakh residents of this coastal town have taken to the streets with one clear demand: immediate and complete shutdown of Sterlite.