Indian police kill 9 anti-pollution protesters, says official

29 May, 2018, 00:36 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Sterlite Copper protest hits 32,500 jobs at Tuticorn plant

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam working president M.K. Stalin, along with dozens of party workers, was detained on Thursday while holding a protest outside the Tamil Nadu secretariat in Chennai against the police firing in Thoothukudi. Protesters turned violent on May 22, the 100th day of their stir, and 13 people were killed in police action against them last Tuesday and Wednesday.

Plans to double its capacity are also under threat after a local court delivered an interim order staying the expansion until a further hearing, to be held by September 23, Vedanta said Wednesday.

The Madras high court ordered a halt to the expansion of the 400,000-tonne facility in response to the unrest, and ordered authorities to hold public hearings before granting environmental approval to the construction.

Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal often talks about his dream to turn his London-listed company Vedanta Resources into a global resources giant.

It was shut briefly after an alleged gas leak in March 2013 that left hundreds with breathing difficulties, nausea and throat infections.

The protesters are demanding that Sterlite's copper smelting plant be shut down as it is polluting the air and water of the region.

However no one had been working at the Sterlite Copper subsidiary of Vedanta Resources for nearly two months.

Eleven demonstrators were shot dead and many people injured in the melee, including 20 police.


A video released by news agency ANI on Wednesday taking aim from the top of a bus and then a voice from the background makes a shocking statement: "At least one should die". This led to series of violence, said cops.

Gandhi tweeted: "The gunning down by the police of nine people in. Why were automatic weapons used to disperse the crowd and under what law is this permitted?"

The police action had received widespread condemnation from Opposition parties as well as global human rights bodies.

"These citizens were murdered for protesting against injustice", he said.

P. Mahendran, superintendent of Tuticorin district police, said 18 officers were also wounded in the clashes.

Asked whether CRPF is being called in, Nanduri said no such decision has been taken but the situation is still tense.

The company has sought to renew the licence of the temporarily non-operational plant and hopes to double its production capacity.

The Tamil Nadu government said that the police had to take action "under unavoidable circumstances" to bring the violence under control. Palaniswami added that families of the victims would be offered one million rupees ($14,700) in compensation. The bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and MM Shantanagoudar said the petition will come up in due course in July after the summer vacation.

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