Published: Wed, May 23, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

HC stays expansion of Sterlite copper smelter plant

HC stays expansion of Sterlite copper smelter plant

Police said almost 5000 protesters gathered near a local church and insisted on taking out a rally to the district collectorate after they were denied permission to march to the copper smelter plant.

As the toll in the violence following the anti-Sterlite protests rose to 11 on Wednesday, the Home Ministry also sought a report from the Tamil Nadu government over the incident. It also appears from several media reports including those on TV news channels that the police resorted to firing on unarmed protesters without following the Standard Operating Procedure, which tantamount to serious violation of human rights and thus is a matter of concern for it.

The Madras High Court told authorities to hold a "mandatory" public hearing over Vedanta's application for environmental clearance and said a decision on environmental approval would be looked into by "appropriate authorities".

The same year, activists allege a gas leak from the plant left hundreds with breathing difficulties, nausea and throat infections.

Witnesses said demonstrators set fire to a police bus Wednesday and ransacked a liquor shop.

"We were forced to fire rubber bullets which unfortunately hit one man in the spine and he died", he added.

"Mass murder of innocent people", he tweeted on Wednesday.

Thousands of local residents participated in Tuesday's protests, which turned violent after the police barricaded the route to the collector's office. "Why were automatic weapons used to disperse the crowd and under what law is this permitted?"

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday termed the death of protesters a "brutal example of state sponsored terrorism". "The postmortem on the bodies is being conducted and they will be handed over to families today". Sterlite Copper represents the copper unit of Vedanta Limited which operates a 400,000 tonnes per annum-plant in Tuticorin.

The Politburo demands that plant should be shut down immediately.

Detailing the events leading to the "unfortunate" deaths, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said the protesters took out a procession towards the Collectorate defying prohibitory orders in the area. Even after heavy police force was deployed in the region, protests and violence continued.

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