Tuticorin Sterlite Copper factory now non-operational, awaiting approval

Esequiel Farfan
May 23, 2018

The National Human Rights Commission also issued a notice to the Tamil Nadu chief secretary and the state police chief, and asked for a response within two weeks, ANI reported.

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has stayed construction of a new copper smelter by Sterlite industries in Thoothukudi. Residents have alleged that the factory is contaminating the region's air and water resources. Hours after police opened fire to quell a rampaging mob in Tuticorin in the wake of protests against a Sterlite copper unit, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced that a judicial probe would be ordered into the protests that turned violent and ended in police firing.

The body of the man killed in firing, and those injured have been rushed to a government hospital.

"This recommendation is being consciously made in view of the earlier antecedents where several cases have been registered against violators and the present pamphlet also indicates the possibility of an unlawful assembly and an illegal protest", the judge had stated in his order allowing Sterlite's petition and directing the Thoothukudi district collector to consider Sterlite's request for invoking section 144 of Cr.P.C.

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Chennai: The opposition charge that the anti-sterlite agitation on Tuesday was mishandled by the government and the police response was inadequate, finds support in a recent order of the Madras high court on this issue. "The company has appealed to the government and authorities to ensure safety of our employees, facilities and surrounding communities", the statement said. "The Sterlite Copper plant is now non-operational as we await approval for the consent to operate", it said.

Meanwhile, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan is heading to Tuticorin.

"The police had to take action under unavoidable circumstances to protect public life and property as the protesters resorted to repeated violence. police had to control the violence", Palaniswami, who also holds the Home portfolio, said.

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