Shut down Sterlite Copper plant in Tuticorin immediately: CPI(M)

A Tamil Nadu police personnel in plainclothes placing himself atop a police bus a few meters away from where people had gathered to hold anti Steralite protest

A Tamil Nadu police personnel in plainclothes placing himself atop a police bus a few meters away from where people had gathered to hold anti Steralite protest

Notwithstanding the imposition of prohibitory orders, which was extended till May 25, the mob staged a sit-in inside the GH campus demanding written assurance from the state government for permanent closure of Sterlite plant and to register murder cases against the police personnel who opened fire on protesters yesterday that claimed 10 lives. The protest turned violent after the march was stopped by the police.

He said police had been forced to act "since protesters disregarded a curfew, acted against the advice of police", and indulged in violence.

In Tamil Nadu, Narendra Modi's BJP has a single parliamentarian, and no state lawmakers.

Ongoing protests demanding closure of the Sterlite plant showed no signs of abating, despite calls for calm by the Tamil Nadu government.

Sterlite Copper represents the copper unit of Vedanta Ltd which operates a four lakh tonne per annum plant at Tuticorin. The locals alleged that the plant was polluting groundwater and causing serious health issues.

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.

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The Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) came out strongly against the killings of protesters in police firing and compared the incident with Punjab's Jallianwalla Bagh massacre by the British, which took place almost a hundred years ago.

The Tamil Nadu government has come under severe attack by the Opposition over the incident.

The head of the national opposition Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, condemned the use of lethal force, calling it "a brutal example of state-sponsored terrorism".

"The gunning down by the police of nine people in the Sterlite protest in Tamil Nadu is a brutal example of state-sponsored terrorism. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of these martyrs and the injured", Gandhi tweeted.

Governor Banwarilal Purohit condoled the death of people who were killed during the firing.

11 people were killed and more than 65 injured on Tuesday during protests against the construction of a new copper smelter by the Sterlite industries in Thoothukudi.

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