Tuticorin Sterlite Protests: Police said they fired live ammunition in the air to disperse protesters.
Internet services have been suspended in Tuticorin and the adjoining districts, in an attempt to check escalation of violence after 12 people died protesting against Vedanta's Sterlite Copper plant. Police firing also left several injured in Tamil Nadu's port city of Tuticorin, now called Thoothukudi. The protests intensified on Tuesday following reports suggesting expansion of Vedanta's Sterlite copper unit. The group has since denied seeking licence for expansion. Yesterday, Madras High Court stayed the expansion of the plant
after a petition claimed the company was building it without the necessary permission.
As protesters clashed with police personnel, hurling home-made bombs and stones at them, police said they fired live ammunition in the air to disperse the protesters. "We were forced to fire rubber bullets which unfortunately hit one man in the spine and he died," a police officer said, according to AFP. The police chief and the District Collector of Tuticorin were transferred yesterday
after fresh firing by police personnel. The Tamil Nadu government appointed a one-person commission of inquiry headed by a retired judge of the Madras High Court, Aruna Jagadeesan, to probe the violence at Tuticorin.
DMK compared the use of force by police
to the massacre at Punjab's Jallianwalla Bagh by the British nearly a hundred years ago. The CPI(M) joined the protesters in demanding the shutdown of the Sterlite plant. Congress president Rahul Gandhi called the police action "state sponsored terrorism"
and said that the "citizens were murdered for protesting against injustice". Superstar Rajinikanth and actor-politician Kamal Haasan visited people injured in violence at the hospital, and condemned the police action against the protesters.
Here are the updates on the anti-Sterlite protests:
Number of deaths in Tuticorin police firing now at 13
The death toll from police firing at Tuticorin today went up to 13, even as cases were registered against opposition leaders, including DMK's M K Stalin and actor-politician Kamal Haasan for defying probibitory orders, officials said, reports PTI.
65 people have been arrested & remanded for indulging in violence during Sterlite protests in Tuticorin. Another 68 people have been arrested and will be produced in front of the magistrate for causing damage to public property and indulging in violence, said Collector Sandeep Nanduri.
Breaking his silence over the killing of 11 people in police firing in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami today accused rival political parties of "instigating" violence. The chief minister said power supply to the plant was discontinued following a direction from the state's pollution control board. Mr Palaniswami claimed some anti-social elements had infiltrated the anti-Sterlite plant protesters and unleashed violence.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi today asked "who ordered the shooting?" He added, "There are recorded videos that shows cops saying at least one must die. It was announced that on 22nd of May this protest would be organised and even after that, you have to resort to such brutality?"
Mr Singhvi also said, "The Tamil Nadu government has forfeited the moral right to rule."
Home Ministry Has Taken Cognisance, Sought Report, Says Rajnath Singh On Tuticorin Violence
The Home Ministry is in touch with Tamil Nadu government and a detailed report has been sought on the sequence of events and circumstances leading to loss of human lives on May 22. "The MHA has taken cognisance of the situation and sought a report on the incident and the prevailing situation from the state government," says Home Minister Rajnath Singh. "I appeal to the people in Tuticorin to remain calm and maintain peace and tranquility in the region," he adds.
Gujarat Lawmaker Alpesh Thakor Says 13 Killed But PM Remains Silent
Firing Was Not Pre-Plannned: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister On Police Action At Sterlite Protests
"Some anti-social elements intruded into the agitation on May 22 and attacked the police, torched the police vehicles. Under tense situation, police resorted to firing and the firing was not pre-plannned," says Chief Minister E Palaniswami
Taking Steps To Close Sterlite Plant Through Legal Means, Says Tamil Nadu Chief Minister
"State government has been taking steps to close down Sterlite plant, through legal means," says Chief Minister E Palaniswami. "Opposition parties instigating innocent people to agitate. Thoothukudi administrators met agitators 14 times about govt stand. TN pollution control board didn't renew license for Sterlite," he adds.
People's Demand Will Be Met Legally, Says Chief Minister E Palaniswami
Addressing the media three days after Tuticorin violence, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami says people's demand will be met legally. He also said that Sterlite's plea for license was rejected.
MK Stalin, Other DMK Leaders Detained By Police
DMK president MK Stalin was detained by police along with other party leaders, news agency ANI reports. Party workers clashed with police personnel outside Tamil Nadu secretariat and blocked the van in which MK Stalin was being taken.
Tamil Nadu Government Cuts Power Supply To Sterlite Plant
DMK Demands Chief Minister's Resignation Over Tuticorin Violence, Protests Outside Tamil Nadu Secretariat
DMK working president MK Stalin stages protest outside the Tamil Nadu secretariat, along with other party leaders over Tuticorin violence.
"Chief Minister Has Become Ineffective," Says MK Stalin, Demands Resignation Over Tuticorin Violence
"Even after death of 12 innocent people, no action has been taken against the culprits. Chief Minister has become ineffective. He did not bother to visit the district and meet the people. Therefore, we demand that Chief Minister E Palaniswami must resign immediately. DGP Rajendran must resign too," DMK President MK Stalin was quoted by news agency ANI.
Vedanta Issues Statement On Violence In Tuticorin
Sterlite Copper's parent company Vedanta said in a statement it regretted the incidents and was working with authorities to ensure the safety of its employees, facilities and the surrounding community.
Internet services were suspended in Tuticorin and adjoining districts on Wednesday, and will remain so until orders by the administration, news agency ANI reported.
Citizens Have A Fundamental Right To Protest, Says Kapil Sibal On Tuticorin Violence
"Citizens have a fundamental right to protest. The police neither have the right nor a duty to kill. In Tuticorin, the State did that: killed 9/10 peaceful protesters. We watch in silence when citizens silenced forever by the State. Desh badal chuka hai," says Congress leader Kapil Sibal.