The Home Ministry sought a report from the Tamil Nadu Government on the violent protests against Sterlite industries in Thoothukudi. Meanwhile, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has stayed construction of a new copper smelter by Sterlite industries in Thoothukudi.
According to media reports , the numbers of deaths too is varying some say it is 9 while others insist that 11 reportedly people were killed and more than 65 people were injured during protests against the construction of a new copper smelter by the Sterlite industries in Thoothukudi.
In the wake of the tragedy, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami earlier announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh for the kin of the deceased, a compensation of Rs three lakh for the severely injured and Rs 1 lakh for those who sustained minor injuries,
Palaniswami also announced government jobs for the family of the deceased. A commission headed by a retired High Court judge has also been constituted to probe the incident.
Facing the heat over the crisis, the Tamil Nadu government has appointed a one-person Commission of Inquiry headed by a retired judge of the Madras High Court to probe the violence at Tuticorin in which 10 people were killed. The toll has gone up to 10, (eight men, two women).
The inquiry will cover the “law and order incidents following the siege of the District Collectorate by thousands of persons violating prohibitory orders,” an official release said.
Appointing retired Judge Aruna Jagadeesan for the task, the government said she would submit her report to the government. However, the time-frame for submitting the report has not been specified.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has expressed sadness over the loss of lives the firing. he condoled the deaths on twitter
The gunning down by the police of 9 people in the #SterliteProtest in Tamil Nadu, is a brutal example of state sponsored terrorism. These citizens were murdered for protesting against injustice. My thoughts & prayers are with the families of these martyrs and the injured.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 22, 2018
The locals are up in arms against the construction of the copper plant, claiming that the plant would pollute groundwater in their area, and causing serious environmental hazards.
The agitation turned violent after protestors were not allowed to march up to the plant, who then began to pelt stones and toppled police vehicles. Police officials also resorted to lathi-charge and tear gas to disperse the crowd to contain the situation.
The Sterlite Copper plant and its proposed expansion in Tuticorin have invited several protests by locals and others who allege that it was polluting groundwater in their area.
The company applied for the removal of consent to operate (CTO) for its existing smelter plant in March this year. The application was rejected after the state pollution control board found that the plant, which can produce 400,000 tonnes of copper a year, was not complying with environmental rules.
The Sterlite plant, which is more than 20 years old, was shut down for two months in 2013 by the then chief minister J Jayalalithaa after people complained of irritation in their eyes.
DMK working president M K Stalin to has lashed out at T N government on the issue on twitter
Who ordered the police firing on protestors? Why were automatic weapons used to disperse the crowd and under what law is this permitted? Why were rubber/ plastic bullets or other means NOT used to avoid fatal injuries? Why was no warning given before firing? #SterliteProtest
— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) May 23, 2018