Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi remained tense for the third day as one more person injured in police firing in protests against the Sterlite factory died, taking the toll to 13.
Selvasekar succumbed to his injuries in the district hospital, as the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board issued an order to disconnect power supply to Sterlite and to close the plant with immediate effect.
Normal life was affected in Thoothukudi, with shops closed and people remaining indoors even as the protest against police action spread across the state , with demonstrations in districts like Erode, Ramanathapuram and Thiruvarur.
In Thoothukudi, police have stepped up patrolling to stop people from forming groups in public places while internet connection has been shut in the district and neighbouring areas.
On Tuesday, police firing killed 11 people, most of them from nearby villages who were demanding the closure of the Sterlite Copper smelter plant they said was destroying the farm lands and leading to severe health issues in the area.
Another person was killed on Wednesday in fresh firing while hundreds of injured are admitted in hospitals.
Meanwhile, construction work for a proposed second facility near to the existing unit was stopped after an order by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday.
The company said it will decide on further action after going through the order. Meanwhile the State government has directed service providers to stop internet services for five days from Wednesday – till May 27 – throughout Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Kanniyakumari, “to prevent spreading of provocative messages with half-truth.” This has been done under Sub-rule (1) of Rule 2 of the Temporary suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017.
Commenting to issue , actor turned politician Kamal Hassan tweeted his dismay over the prevailing situation
Internet connection cut in Thooththukkudi? Alarming! What next? excommunicate Tamilnadu? TN would see an uprising,much bigger than any, in its history. No Government is strong enough to take on the might of my people.
— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) May 23, 2018
Actor Prakash Raj too vented his anger on Twitter
KILLING of CITIZENS protesting .. SHAME on Tamilnadu s Visionless .. spineless government.. couldn’t you hear people’s cry of protest.. couldn’t you foresee citizens anguish over pollution concerns OR are you busy dancing to CENTER s tunes to hold on to power .. #justasking
— Prakash Raj (@prakashraaj) May 23, 2018