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Sterlite protest updates: 13 people killed, 102 others wounded, confirms new Thoothukudi district collector

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Sterlite protest updates: 13 people killed, 102 others wounded, confirms new Thoothukudi district collector
  • 21:26 (IST)

    Here is an interesting take on the Sterlite stir so far:

  • 21:16 (IST)

    No chances of Sterlite plant starting operations again: New district collector

    "There aren't any chances of the Sterlite Plant starting operations again. This is the wish of the Tamil Nadu government as well," said District Collector Sandeep Nanduri.

    He also said that the decision on whether to recommence bus services from Thoothukudi will be taken tomorrow. Meanwhile, arrangements are being made to truck in vegetables from Madurai.

    Input by Prabakar/101Reporters

  • 20:54 (IST)

    Autorickshaws won't run across Tamil Nadu from 6 am to 6 pm

    Autos will not run tomorrow across Tamil Nadu from 6 am to 6 pm, CITU Auto Drivers Association General Secretary Shivaji has announced.

    Input by Prasad/101Reporters

  • 20:50 (IST)

    Thoothukudi residents unhappy with the government

    “What the government is doing is completely ridiculous. They are pulling off a cheap stunt by burning their own vehicles and blaming people for it. I have been mentally affected,” said a Thoothukudi resident, on condition of anonymity.

    Other residents too want to raise their voices against what is being seen as police vandalism, but the brutality that they have been facing since the last three days have left them afraid of talking to the media.

    “They (the government) do not want any information to leave the place. They have cut internet connectivity in three districts. The don’t want the entire state to stand up in protest and that is why they banned internet connectivity. We are afraid that they might cut all our television connections as well if the situation is not resolved,” said a resident from Naggapuram in Thoothukudi.

    Input by The NewsCart team

  • 19:54 (IST)

    13 people have been killed, 102 have been wounded: New Thoothukudi district collector

    Sandeep Nanduri, day-old district collector of Thoothukudi, released information on the casualties over the past 3 days.

    Nanduri said 13 people have been killed and 102 were wounded. Apart from this, 34 policemen have also been wounded. 98 vehicles, including two-wheelers, have been damaged and the district collector's office has seen damages to the tune of Rs 29 lakh.

    Input by Prabakar/101Reporters

  • 19:42 (IST)

    Tamizhaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam says govt has enforced undeclared emergency

    The Tamizhaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam has issued a statement on the violence in Tuticorin and said that "the government has enforced an undeclared emergency on the people of Tuticorin".

    "The 100 days peaceful, democratic agitation by the ordinary people of Tuticorin against the Sterlite copper plant has brought to sharp focus the very idea of development. The Indian State appears restless to pursue a reckless development agenda even at the cost of environment and overall well being of the people," the statement said.

    "That a 17-year-old school-going girl Snolin has been shot in the mouth from close range should shake the conscience of the entire nation. That the national English media and even the regional media have underplayed this heinous crime is a matter of extreme concern," the statement further said.

  • 18:47 (IST)

    Demonstrations have spread to other districts like Erode, Ramanathapuram and Thiruvarur

    Normal life was affected in Thoothukudi, with shops closed and people remaining indoors even as the protest against police action spread across the state on Thursday, 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. — IANS

  • 18:20 (IST)

    Puducherry Congress supports bandh called on Friday over Tuticorin violence

    Congress in Puducherry announced its support to the day-long bandh called by various political parties on Friday to condemn the 'killing' of the people during anti-sterlite protests in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

    PWD Minister and PCC president A Namassivayam said the Congress supported the bandh being observed on Friday to demand closure of Vedanta's Sterlite unit in Tuticorin. — PTI

  • 18:11 (IST)

    'Consultative Committee for Peace Restoration in Thoothukudi' meets

    According to ANI, this meeting is headed by the district magistrate, SP, IG (south zone) and state government monitoring officers. An all-party delegation will meet them later.

  • 18:08 (IST)

    Protesters demand dissolution of the Tamil Nadu government

    Major demands of the combined protest by several regional parties, activists and public are that ruling Edapadi Palanisami's AIADMK must dissolve the government, justice must be ensured for the dead civilians in Tuticorin, and Vedanta's Sterlite Copper smelter in Tuticorin must be shut down.

    They also demand immediate dismissal of the District Collector and DGP for making an organised planned murder of 12 and more civilians who participated in the protests.

    Inputs by Krithika Srinivasan/The NewsCart

  • 18:03 (IST)

    We are waiting for clearance from the court and government: Anil Agarwal, founder and chairman of Vedanta Resources Plc​

    Input by A Joseph/The NewsCart

  • 17:51 (IST)

    Protesters shout slogans against Modi government

    Police have now taken some of the protesters into custody.

    Inputs by Krithika Srinivasan/The NewsCart

  • 17:50 (IST)

    Visuals of the protests in Chennai

    "Down, down, BJP!" and "Modi, Modi, get away from Tamil Nadu" slogans were heard at the protest.

    Inputs by Krithika Srinivasan/The NewsCart

  • 17:34 (IST)

    "State, Centre acting in undemocratic manner"

    Tyson, the organizer of Tamizhar Vidiyal Katchi, says what happened in Tuticorin is clear evidence of the state and Central government acting in an undemocratic manner in every way. "Many students, youngsters are being thrashed in the protest site. We strongly condemn the inhuman action of the police," he said.

  • 17:31 (IST)

    Protesters chant slogans against the Tamil Nadu chief minister at Chepauk guesthouse

    Input by Krithika Srinivasan/The NewsCart

  • 17:21 (IST)

    Leader of Tamizhar Vazhvurimai Katchi, Velmurugan speaks on the police firing

    Input by Krithika Srinivasan/The NewsCart

  • 17:19 (IST)

    Court directs release of people arrested during riots

    District judge Suhasini has ordered the immediate release of 65 people arrested during the Thoothukudi riots

    Input by A Joseph/TheNewsCart

  • 17:08 (IST)

    Protests against police firing gain momentum

    Image by Krithika Srinivasan/The NewsCart

  • 17:06 (IST)

    Social activists join hands with protesters

    The protest is gathering momentum, as several directors and social activists are seen joining hands with the protestors. Suba Udayakumar, social activist, a pioneer in organising the people of Kudankulam against a nuclear power plant project there, is also participating in the protest. 

    Input by Krithika Srinivasan/ The NewsCart

  • 16:50 (IST)

    People's Watch, human rights organisation, joins protest in Chennai

    Input by Krithika Srinivasan/The NewsCart

  • 16:47 (IST)

    Protests in Chennai

    Thousands of people gather to protest at Chepauk Guest House, Walajah Road. The protest is organised by local parties Vidudhalai Chiruthai Katchi, Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi and Social Democratic Party of India. The protest is lead by Velmurugan of TVK, and Vanniyarasu of VCK.

    Input by Krithika Srinivasan/The NewsCart

  • 16:25 (IST)

    Strange that PM is silent on Tuticorin but throws a fitness challenge: Congress

    "Prime minister, government of India, ruling party president are running on a treadmill but not getting anywhere. Are you fit for governance? The answer is clearly no," said Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi at a press conference.

    "It is a strange prime minister who maintains silence on the Tuticorin challenge but throws a fitness challenge. This is deplorable," he added.

    "Not one suspension was done, only transfers. Suspensions are done for much lesser," Singhvi said.

    "Why does the judicial inquiry have no time limit? If you have an inquiry, there should be a strict and narrow time limit," he added.

  • 16:19 (IST)

    Protest held outside Vedanta office in Bengaluru

    A protest was held outside Vedanta office, Prestige Meridian on MG Road in Bengaluru at 3.30 pm  against police firing in Thoothukudi.

    Input by 101Reporters

  • 16:03 (IST)

    Supreme Court lawyer seeks FIR, CBI probe against Thoothukudi collector, SP: ANI

    ANI also reported that 65 people and remanded have been arrested for the violence.

  • 15:53 (IST)

    Protests erupt in Chennai

  • 15:26 (IST)

    Thoothukudi's new district collector says restoring normalcy is the first priority

    Restoring normalcy in the city is the first priority, said Thoothikudi's new district collector Sandeep Nanduri. When asked about who issued firing orders on 22 May, he said the chief minister has established a commission to investigate this and he will not be able to comment on this.

    Input by Prabakar/101Reporters

  • 15:24 (IST)

    Madras HC rejects Tamil Nadu govt's appeal against its order to preserve bodies

    Madras High Court has rejected Tamil Nadu government's appeal against its order to preserve and not release the bodies of the deceased in Thoothukudi. The bodies will be in government custody until 30 May, the court ordered.

    Input by Prasad/101Reporters

  • 15:17 (IST)

    CPM asks for proactive investigation into Thoothukudi violence

    In a communication to the Madras High Court, CPM has asked for a proactive investigation into the events in Thoothukudi.

    The government is trying to cover up the incidents there, the South Chennai District Secratary A Pakkiyam has alleged. So a judicial intervention is necessary and an independent investigation headed by the court is required, the communique said.

    The police's action are shocking, law and order has shattered and peace keeping mechanisms have failed, it further added.

    Input by Prasad/101Reporters

  • 15:11 (IST)

    Joint Commando team in Thoothukudi subtly threatens people, including media

    The team said they are not responsible for what may follow. A total of 108 people have been detained so far.

    Input by Swetha Gowda/TheNewsCart

  • 15:07 (IST)

    Action taken so far

    In Chennai, 22 members of the Tamil Desa Makkal Munnani were detained for protesting against the Vedanta-operated Sterlite copper plant amid police brutality against protesters. They staged a 30-minute road block from 9.30 am in the morning. Eight members of the Makkal Vazhi forum announced a fast unto death, while at least 50 other protesters organised a hunger strike in Koyambedu, Chennai, on Wednesday.

    Click here to read the full report.

  • 15:03 (IST)

    Palaniswami defends police action

  • 14:48 (IST)

    MK Stalin, Kamal Haasan, Vaiko booked

    MK Stalin, Kamal Haasan, Vaiko, Thirumavalavan, K Balakrishnan have been booked under IPC sections 153 (a) (Promoting enmity between different groups...) 143 (unlawful assembly...) And 188 (disobedience to order by public servant).

    Input by A Joseph/TheNewsCart

  • 14:35 (IST)

    CPM members to decide on course of action against Tamil Nadu govt today

    CPM district members to meet and decide on a course of action against the government for the police firings on Thursday,, informed CPM state secretariat member K Kanagaraj. 

    "The two major communities of Thoothukudi, the fishermen and the Nadars have put aside their generation-long rivalry to protest in unison against Sterlite. The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board’s order has been passed thrice in the past and again Sterlite will start operating... Four days ago the collector and the district revenue officer ran away to hide in Ottaparadam and Kayathar. I think the government has a tie-up with Sterlite. Among the 68 who were admitted in the government hospital on Wednesday, only 28 people had bullet wounds, the remaining were beaten with wooden rods by policemen," he said adding that their party workers plan to visit the houses of every victim to record statements.

    Input by Swetha Gowda/The NewsCart

  • 14:22 (IST)

    Sterlite advises Tuticorin unit employees against showing up at plant

    Sterlite management in Thoothukudi has advised its permanent and contract employees against showing up at the plant for work due to the tense situation that is prevailing. It has also asked those staying at the company accommodation to return to their home towns.

    Input by Prabakar/101Reporters

  • 14:21 (IST)

    Tamil Nadu govt appeals against Madras HC order to preserve bodies of deceased

    Tamil Nadu government has appealed against the Madras High Court order to preserve bodies of those killed in the police firing in Thoothukudi. "The government is unable to give an answer to the relatives who have arrived there to collect the body," the government petitioner said. The case will be re-examined on Thursday by the court.

    Input by Prasad/101Reporters

  • 14:18 (IST)

    Situation tense in Anna Nagar, newly-appointed collector to address traders at 4 pm

    TDP MLC TD Janardhan is visiting areas where the families of victims reside. Situation remains tense in Anna Nagar. Petrol bombs have been hurled at some places. Nanduri is visiting the government hospital and will address the Tamil Nadu traders unit at 4 pm.
     

     Input by Swetha Gowda/The NewsCart

  • 14:15 (IST)

    Thoothukudi SP says between 10-15 people arrested on Wednesday

    While protesters allege that police arrested over a hundred people during Wednesday's black out, the Thoothukudi SP's office puts the number of people arrested between 10 and 15 in their police station limits.

    Input by Swetha Gowda/The NewsCart

  • 14:10 (IST)

    Rajnath Singh appeals to people of Thoothukudi to remain calm

    Asserting that the MHA has taken cognisance of the situation in Tuticorin, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, "My thoughts are with bereaved families. I also pray for the speedy recovery of the injured. I appeal to the people in Tuticorin to remain calm and maintain peace and tranquility in the region."

  • 14:07 (IST)

    Commotion in Thoothukudi's Anna Nagar

    Thoothukudi's Anna Nagar locality is one again witnessing commotion. Extra police has been despatched to the area under the command of two IGs. 

    Input by Prabakar/101Reporters

  • 13:56 (IST)

    Vedanta's founder being protected by police, says criminal law practitioner S Balan


    "Vedanta is a criminal company. Its founder is a criminal who stays in London. He destroyed the environment in Maharashtra, and in Niyamgiri hills. He's looting the environment, and natural resources found in the mountains, hills and forests. The police are protecting criminals like him. This is protest against a government which is friendly to criminals and not it's subjects. This is a symbolic protest." said S Balan, a criminal law practitioner, an organiser in of the protest. The Bengaluru protest at 3pm is being organised by Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation Party. 

    Input by Aksatha Jesudasan/ The NewsCart

  • 13:50 (IST)

    Will ensure peoples' voices from Tuticorin are heard in Chennai, says Stalin

    In a tweet, DMK leader MK Stalin hit out at the Tamil Nadu government for not giving answers to "Tuticorin massacre". "We will ensure the protestors' and peoples' voices from Tuticorin are heard in Chennai. Our fight against this Incompetent EPS government will not stop till the resignations of the chief minister and DGP," he wrote.

  • 13:41 (IST)

    Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal says company strictly following court, govt orders

    "This was very unfortunate and my full sympathies with the families. The plant is closed because of annual shutdown and we are waiting for clearance from the court and the government to restart the plant. We are strictly following the court and government orders. We always make sure that the community and the Tuticorin people at large prosper with us,” Vedanta Group chairman Anil Agarwal was quoted as saying by News18.

    He said that he is totally committed to the people, and that Vedanta would like to continue with this business "with the wish and will of the residents" .

  • 13:35 (IST)

    'Stalin didn't seek appointment with me'

    Palaniswamy responded to the drama around DMK leader Stalin's protest for not getting an appointment with him. He said that he did not refuse to speak to Stalin but it was rather the DMK leader who did not seek any appointment with him.

  • ANI quoted him as saying. ">

    13:25 (IST)

    Palaniswami defends Tuesday's police firing

    Addressing the media, Chief Minister Palaniswami said, "The entire episode which happened was primarily because of certain political parties, NGOs and anti-social elements, who took protestors to a wrong path."

    He defended police's action on Tuesday during the violent protest. "If someone is attacked, the natural course would be to defend & safeguard themselves. This is what has been done by the police in response," ANI quoted him as saying.

  • 13:10 (IST)

    Let's shoot the guns, the anarchy police and the representatives of the people towards us: Stalin

    In a series of tweets, MK Stalin slammed the ruling AIADMK-led E Palaniswami government for using force to evict him and other DMK MLAs from the Secretariat. 

    "We are conducting a struggle to besiege the Secretariat, which is conducting the worst administration in order to convince these brutal rulers that the repression of the people can not be broken. If you want to disrupt the fight there, the struggle will take place here. Let's shoot the guns, the anarchy police and the representatives of the people towards us. DMK will continue its struggle to have justice."

  • 12:53 (IST)

    Watch: Cops track down protesters in Thoothukudi

    The police tracked down protestors at their homes in the middle of the night using footage from CCTV cameras, alleged Mariyappan, the admin of the 'Thoothukudi People' which is a group on Facebook. Mariyappan alleged that police used the footage from CCTV cameras near the government hospital and one of the major signals there to trace the protestors involved in the agitations there. "They knew that these people were likely from the surrounding areas like Anna Nagar and were able to track them down using government data," he said. Some of those arrested last night are being remanded today, he said.  Mariyappan, who is in his home in Thoothukudi, said no offices are open today, internet remains suspended and only banking domains are functional. 

    The video was obtained by Prabakar/101Reporters

  • 12:16 (IST)

    75 arrested in Thiruvannamalai 

    75 people have been arrested in Thiruvannamalai at the Vandavasi bus stand where members of SDPI staged a protest by burning an effigy of CM Edappadi Palanisamy.

    Input by Govindarajalu/101Reporters

  • 12:13 (IST)

    Chief Minister Palaniswami has become ineffective, says Stalin, forcibly evicted from CMO

    DMK's working president MK Stalin staged a massive protest outside the chief minister's office in Chennai and demanded that E Palaniswami should resign. "Palaniswami is ineffective," Stalin said. 

    Stalin was forcibly removed as he sat in dharna in front of the chief minister's office. He had be there along with about 20 of his MLAs demanding an audience with the CM. He has been sitting in protest in front of the Chennai Secretariat. 

  • 11:58 (IST)

    Protest in Bengaluru's MG Road at 3pm near Mayo Hall court

    "The saga of development continues for whom? Today the state and police blatantly support big corporates and those who are close friends with the ruling political class...The state is using full force to silence dissent, and (to them) lives affected by such corporate-state developments do not matter. After all, who are people compared to large profits," said Stree Jagriti Samiti co-founder Geeta Menon. She is one of the prominent figures who will be participating in the protest in Bengaluru.

  • 11:54 (IST)

    'We will definitely meet the people of Thoothukudi'

    Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar told reporters on Thursday. "Our sentiments are the same as that of the sentiments of the people. We will not going against them." he said. Meanwhile, over 100 people belonging to Communist Party of India staged a protest in Madurai's Palanganatham locality. 

    Input by Prasad/101Reporters 

Sterlite protest LIVE updates: Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi lashed out at the Narendra Modi government over the anti-Sterlite protests and said that the prime minister was silent on the violence but was throwing a fitness challenge.

The Madras High Court has rejected the state government's appeal against the preservation of bodies.

The Tamil Nadu government has appealed against the Madras High Court order to preserve bodies of those killed in the police firing in Thoothukudi. "The government is unable to give an answer to the relatives who have arrived there to collect the body," the government petitioner said.

Addressing the media, Chief Minister Palaniswami said, "The entire episode which happened was primarily because of certain political parties, NGOs and anti-social elements, who took protestors to a wrong path." In a series of tweets, DMK leader MK Stalin that his party will "continue its struggle to have justice".

The police tracked down protestors at their homes in the middle of the night using footage from CCTV cameras, alleged Mariyappan, the admin of the 'Thoothukudi People' which is a group on Facebook. Mariyappan alleged that police used the footage from CCTV cameras near the government hospital and one of the major signals there to trace the protestors involved in the agitations there. "They knew that these people were likely from the surrounding areas like Anna Nagar and were able to track them down using government data," he said. Some of those arrested last night are being remanded today, he said. Mariyappan, who is in his home in Thoothukudi, said no offices are open today, internet remains suspended and only banking domains are functional.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court to order an inquiry into the police killings in Thoothukudi. This plea will be heard on Friday by the court. Meanwhile, DMK's working president MK Stalin led a protest against the Palaniswami government outside the chief minister's office in Chennai. He was forcibly removed as he sat in dharna in front of the chief minister's office. He had be there along with about 20 of his MLAs demanding an audience with the CM. He has been sitting in protest in front of the Chennai Secretariat.

In an official order, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board ordered the closure of the copper smelter plant in Thoothukudi.

A 42-year-old man succumbed to injuries in Tuticorin Genera Hospital on Thursday taking the death toll to 13. Internet Services in Thoothukudi were suspended on Wednesday at 9 pm. According to latest reports, services will be suspended for the next five days. According to ANI, the government has decided not to allow internet services in the riot-hit area where clash between protesters and police claimed 12 lives. Till now, at least 67 people have been arrested in connection to the violence.

Tamil Nadu government has reportedly disconnected electricity supply to Sterlite plant in Thoothukudi on recommendation of the Commodity Control Board. Meanwhile, Firstpost accessed a copy of the petition filed by Fatima Babu, an environmental activist, in the Madras High Court. In her petition, Fatima lists out why the high court should not allow functioning of the copper smelter plants in Tuticorin.

"The said proposal was considered, and environmental clearance was granted to the 4th Respondent’s copper smelter plant-II on 01.01.2009. The requirement of public hearing prior to grant of such environemental clearance was exempted based on the representations of the 4th Respondent that the proposed plant would be located inside notified SIPCOT industrial area. The public hearing process is an essential part of the environmental clearance process. I state that a majority of the residents of Thoothukudi and those living in the vicinity of the 4th Respondent have a very poor image of the company and are angry with it for twisting and violating the law, polluting the environment, damaging the health of people, and getting government authorities to collude with its illegal schemes. This is evident from the massive protests ongoing in Thoothukudi even at the time of presentation of the present Writ Petition," Fatima says in her petition.

Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani took to Twitter to urge the united Opposition that attended HD Kumaraswamy's swearing in ceremony to visit violence-hit Thoothukudi. "I sincerely request that these same people take time off from photo op to come visit Thoothukudi and join hands to protest Vedanta and the horrific corporate, state-sponsored murder of civilians," he said in a tweet.

Late on Wednesday, Chief Minister K Palaniswami, and his deputy O Panneerselvam called on Governor Banwarilal Purohit and apprised him of the violent incidents against the Sterlite copper plant at Tuticorin. Top officials took part in the meeting held in Chennai on Wednesday night and it lasted about half an hour.

Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin town was on the boil again on Wednesday, with a man shot dead in police firing following fresh clashes between security personnel and locals demanding closure of a copper factory over pollution concerns, a day after police action left 10 protesters dead.

In the line of Opposition fire, the state government constituted a Commission of Inquiry headed by retired Madras High Court judge Aruna Jagadeesan to probe the violence, and shunted out the Collector and Superintendent of Police of Tuticorin.

Collector N Venkatesh has been replaced by the collector of neighbouring Tirunelveli Sandeep Nanduri, while Nilgiris district police chief Murali Rambha will take overfrom SP P Mahendran.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has, meanwhile, sought a report from the Tamil Nadu government on the circumstances leading to police firing on protesters demanding the closure of Vedanta group's Sterlite Copper plant, which they claim had polluted ground water in the area, official sources said in New Delhi.

Taking cognizance of the large-scale violence, the National Human Rights Commission issued notices to Tamil Nadu chief secretary and the director general of police, asking them to submit a detailed report in two weeks, while the Madras High Court stayed the proposed expansion of the plant.

Enraged over Tuesday's killings, protesters took to streets on Wednesday morning, attacking police with stones, setting two government vehicles on fire, and trying to storm into a hospital where injured were kept, prompting security personnel to baton-charge them and open fire, officials said.

Several people, including police personnel, were injured in clashes.

Seeking to control the damage done due to police action, the government announced constitution of the Jagadeesan commission of inquiry.

"The panel will cover the law and order incidents following the siege of the District Collectorate on 22 May by thousands of persons violating prohibitory orders," an official release said in Chennai.

Reinforcements have been rushed to Tuticorin from adjoining districts to assist the local police and civil administration in restoring calm in the strife-torn town.

A Madras High Court bench comprising Justices M Sundar and Anitha Sumanth, meanwhile, stayed the proposed expansion of the plant on a petition filed by environment activist Fathima Babu.

The bench also directed the central government to submit a report within four months after inviting public opinion on the expansion plan.

Sterlite had got consent for expansion, after the existing unit was shut two months ago by an order of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.

NHRC, citing media reports, observed, "It appears that the authorities probably failed to foresee the tragic violence which took place".

Noting that the agitation against the alleged polluting unit was on for more than three months, the rights body said effective precautionary measures and deployment of adequate number of police personnel could possibly have averted violence.

"It also appears from several media reports, including those on TV news channels, that the police resorted to firing on unarmed protesters without following the standard operating procedure, which tantamounts to serious violation of human rights and thus is a matter of concern," it said.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi alleged that Tamils were being killed as they had refused to "bow" to the RSS ideology.

"Tamils are being killed since they refuse to bow to the ideology of the RSS. The feelings of the Tamil people can never be trampled by the bullets of the RSS and Modi. We are with you Tamil brothers and sisters #SterliteProtest," he said in a tweet in Tamil.

DMK working president M K Stalin demanded the resignation of Chief Minister K Palaniswami and state police chief TK Rajendran.

"On behalf of the DMK, I strongly condemn the violence. Chief Minister Palaniswami and DGP T K Rajendran should take moral responsibility for the police action and resign," Stalin, who visited the families of the victims, told reporters.

"Will Tamil Nadu chief minister take action against DGP for failing to maintain law and order? Will chief secretary explain her role in this entire episode? Will there be justice for Sterlite protest?" he later said in a tweet.

"Why was there not adequate police presence to maintain law and order during Sterlite protest ? Is it accurate to say that there was a total failure of State intelligence which led to these unfortunate deaths?" he said in another tweet.

Actor and Makkal Neethi Maiam president Kamal Haasan also visited the injured in Tuticorin and extended his condolences to the bereaved families. Actor Rajinikanth also condemned the police action.

"The incident is due to the total negligence of the government. I strongly condemn the unlawful activities by the police," the actor said in a video message that was shared on his official twitter handle.


Updated Date: May 24, 2018 21:29 PM

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