Sterlite protest updates: Thoothukudi SP, collector transferred; Centre seeks report from Tamil Nadu govt

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Sterlite protest updates: Thoothukudi SP, collector transferred; Centre seeks report from Tamil Nadu govt
  • 22:38 (IST)

    Plant has been shut for two months, why has the issue just cropped up? asks Sterlite Copper CEO

    Reacting to the day's events, Sterlite Copper CEO P Ramnath told CNBC-TV18 that the company's plant has been operating in compliance with environmental laws. "It's a myth that the company is letting out effluents in the ocean," Ramnath said.

    "The plant has been shut down for the past two months. Why has the issue just cropped up?" Ramnath asked, and added that nefarious elements have infiltrated the villages.

    Click here to read full report.

  • 21:57 (IST)

    Thoothukudi police told a dying man to "stop acting"

    According to The News Minute, a video shows Kaliappan — the person killed in fresh firing in Thoothukudi on Wednesday — lying on the ground, unable to get up.

    When he moves his head a little in the video, one of the policemen surrounding him is heard saying, "Stop acting."

  • 21:51 (IST)

    Internet services suspended in Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Kanniyakumari districts for five days

  • 21:31 (IST)

    Centre asks for report from Tamil Nadu govt

    The Union Home Ministry has 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. — PTI

  • 21:18 (IST)

    Thoothukudi collector transferred

    Sandeep Nanduri, who was Tirunelveli collector, has taken charge as Thoothukudi collector and has replaced N Venkatesh.

    Input by 101Reporters

  • 21:05 (IST)

    Thoothukudi SP transferred

    P Mahendran, the Thoothukudi superintendent of police, has been transferred, according to reports.

  • 19:16 (IST)

    Full order of the Madras High Court directing Vedanta to stop the construction of Sterlite copper plant's Unit II

  • 19:14 (IST)

    Persons behind the firing should be punished: Bishop of Tuticorin

    In a letter, the bishop of Tuticorin has issued a statement on the violence so far and has said that the police opened fire without any government order.

    "Over 1000 people have been protesting for over 100 days against the Sertlite plant. People are protesting in a peaceful manner; and yesterday, (were protesting) without troubling the police or other government officers. But the real question is who is responsible for the violence? People fought for their rights. Police opened fire without any government order and killed several people. Many people lost their loved ones and are afraid. The person behind the firing should be punished and they should take severe action against them. We give our condolences to the families and relatives (of those who were killed)," said the statement.

  • 18:25 (IST)

    Internet services restricted in Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Kanniyakumari districts: Reports

  • 18:21 (IST)

    Madras High Court orders preservation of bodies of those killed in police firing: ANI

    A report in The Hindu furhter said that the Madras High Court has directed Vedanta to stop the construction of Sterlite copper plant's Unit II in Thoothukudi.

  • 18:08 (IST)

    Left organisations hold protest in Thoothukudi

  • 17:51 (IST)

    State govt, police must be held responsible: Congress

  • 17:49 (IST)

    National Alliance of People's Movements issues statement blaming Tamil Nadu govt

    A statement released by the National Alliance of People's Movements, signed by founder Medha Patkar and many others, laid on responsibility of the shooting on not just the police and the district administration, but the government of Tamil Nadu, Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.

    "For, yesterday was a bloody culmination of over two decades of blatant disregard for the lives and well-being of the people and protecting corporate interest," it said. "Given the scale and seriousness of the crime involved, a time bound, court-monitored judicial inquiry by a retired Supreme Court judge to investigate the entire incident and fix liability must be initiated at the earliest. FIR under Section 302 IPC must be registered against the senior officials as well as political leaders, without whose facilitation and orders, the planning and executed these shootings and killings would not have happened," the statement read.

    Input by 101Reporters

  • 17:36 (IST)

    Visuals from the violence in Anna Nagar, where one person died

    The police personnel are seen carrying the person who lost his life later. In the video, he seems to be showing signs of life.

    Input by Prabakar/101Reporters

  • 17:21 (IST)

    Students protest at Delhi's Tamil Nadu House

    Many students are protesting against Tamil Nadu government at Delhi's Tamil Nadu house.

    Input by Ashish Mani Tiwar​i/The NewsCart

  • 16:39 (IST)

    Filmmaker and politician T Rajender condemns govt for not shutting down Sterlite plant

    Speaking to reporters after meeting with the victims of Tuesday's violence, filmmaker and politician T Rajender said, "I am not here as the leader of a political party, but as a Tamilian and a common man."

    Talking in his signature rhyming style, he condemned the government for not shutting down the Sterlite plant but instead turning on its own people and killing them with guns. He said the Tamil people hadn't witnessed such brutality even under colonial rule.

    Input by Prabakar/101Reporters

  • 16:29 (IST)

    Vaiko gets emotional while meeting those injured in the firing

    Input by Saminathan/PTI

  • 16:21 (IST)

    Raja Dhileeban, the policeman who opened fire, is a member of Special FP commando team of Thoothukudi: Sources

  • 16:11 (IST)

    Watch: People gather outside mortuary at Government Medical College

    The people urged those capturing videos to share it on social media so that others would join the protests.

    Input by Prabakar/101Reporters

  • 16:04 (IST)

    Visuals of firing outside the government hospital earlier

    The police, while dispersing crowds outside the government hospital in Thoothukudi, got involved in an angry confrontation with the reporter. Over-hearing him narrating the scene before him, where he says the police are ganging up and attacking young boys, some of the police officers argued with the reporter, saying they too have been subject to attacks and injuries because of stone-pelting. 'Who is shooting people? Am I shooting anyone?' an angry cops shouted at the reporter. The reporter then said the police has refused to divulge who gave them the orders to resort to this fresh lathicharge.

    Input by Prabakar/101Reporters

  • 15:52 (IST)

    Resident of Anna Nagar who died in fresh firing

  • 15:48 (IST)

    Visuals of injured being brought to the general hospital

  • 15:37 (IST)

    Federation of Traders' Association president says businesses will be shut across Tamil Nadu tomorrow

    Federation of Traders' Association president T Vellaiyan has announced that businesses will be shut across Tamil Nadu on Thursday to condemn Tuesday's killings in Thoothukudi.

    Input by Prabakar/101Reporters

  • 15:35 (IST)

    MK Stalin meets those injured in the firing

  • 15:31 (IST)

    Shame on Tamil Nadu's visionless, spineless govt: Actor Prakash Raj

  • Is the chief minister also accountable?

    It was not as if the government was unaware of the 100th day protest. The question is whether the judicial probe by retired Judge Aruna Jagadeesan will fix culpability of only the district administration or from the CM, chief secretary and DGP downwards. Did Edappadi Palaniswami brief the district minister and the collector on how to handle the situation? All we know is that EPS was inaugurating a flower show in Ooty last week.

  • 15:12 (IST)

    Rahulji, we will gift you a 6th standard Civics textbook: BJP

    "Rahul Gandhi is milking a situation which is sad and in which 11 people have died. In a federal structure, law and order is a state subject," said BJP's Sambit Patra in a press conference.

    "Rahulji, we will gift you a 6th standard Civics textbook," he further said. "We have seen as to how Rahul Gandhi is the cause of Congress' loss."

  • 15:09 (IST)

    Stalin arrives at general hospital in Tuticorin

    DMK leader Stalin has arrived at the general hospital in Tuticorin to meet the injured.

  • 15:05 (IST)

    One person killed in fresh firing

    News reports have said that at least one person has died in fresh firing.

  • 14:58 (IST)

    Protests planned near Chepauk guest house

    Student Federation of India, Democratic Youth Federation of India and All India Democratic Women's Association are planning to protest near Chepauk guest house at around 4.30pm.

    Input by Krithika Srinivasan/The NewsCart

  • 14:41 (IST)

    Three more injured in police firing in Thoothukudi's Anna Nagar

    Fresh firing was reported in Thoothukudi's Anna Nagar area at around 2.30 pm. Sources said, three policemen, including SP Mahendran, are injured.

  • 14:34 (IST)

    At least, one should die: Policeman caught saying on tape

    In a video released by The News Minute, two policemen are seen getting on top of a van and taking aim at protesters to shoot them down. While even the visuals enraged activists and the public, the audio heard in the background is even more chilling. As a policeman is on top of the van, a voice in the background can be heard saying, “At least one should die.”

  • 14:30 (IST)

    Protesters torch vehicles in Thoothukudi's Byrant Nagar

  • 14:25 (IST)

    Kamal Haasan meeting victims earlier during the day

  • 14:19 (IST)

    Police says strict action against those inciting violence

  • 14:13 (IST)

    Forces deployed outside General Hospital in Tuticorin 

    The government deployed forces outside the General Hospital in Thoothukudi after protesters set vehicles ablaze outside the hospital.

  • 14:07 (IST)

    Kamal Haasan booked for violating Section 144

    Actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan booked for violating Section 144. He visited the hospital to meet victims with at least 20 people despite the imposition of Section 144.

  • 14:05 (IST)

    Protesters torch police vehicles outside Thoothukudi hospital

    Over 50 police vehicles have been rallying through Thoothukudi to ensure peace following violence that erupted after police fired two rounds to disperse protesters outside the Thoothukudi Hospital. Two police vehicles, including one in Byrant Nagar, were burnt down by unidentified miscreants.

  • 13:59 (IST)

    Tamils are assassinated because they refuse to subscribe to RSS sidhanta: Rahul Gandhi

    Tamils ​​are assassinated because they refuse to subscribe to RS Siddhanta. The bullets of the RSS and Modi can never crush the feelings of the Tamil people. Brothers and sisters, we are with you.

  • 13:57 (IST)

    Bus was set ablaze by protesters outside General Hospital in Tuticorin

  • 13:54 (IST)

    No amount of compensation is enough, says Kamal Haasan

    Kamal Haasan met with the relatives of the injured and the deceased at the government hospital in Thoothukudi, consoling them. Speaking to reporters, he said no amount of compensation given to those who had died would be enough and that it seemed like the shooting was engineered to satisfy someone. The truth about who instigated the cops to shoot at the protestors should be brought out, he said.

    Input by Prabakar/101Reporters

  • 13:53 (IST)

    Rajnikanth shares video message amid stir over police firing

    Actor and politician-in-waiting Rajnikanth released a video message condemning that brutal action of the government machinery in Thoothukudi and expressed his sympathies for the families of the people killed yesterday.

  • 13:45 (IST)

    Six-member team starts medical examination of the deceased in presence of four judges

  • 13:37 (IST)

    22 arrested for road block protest

    Road block protest by Tamil Desa Makkal Munnani started by 9.30 am and lasted for half an hour. About 22 protesters have been arrested so far. 

    Input by Krithika Srinivasan/The NewsCart

  • 13:35 (IST)

    DMK and allies to stage massive protest on 25 May

    The DMK and its allies will stage a massive protest across all district capitals on 25 May against the killings on Tuesday and calling for the permanent closure of the Sterlite plants.

    The Tamil Nadu government has appointed retired judge Aruna Jagadeesan to head the inquiry into Tuesday's firing incident.

    Input by P Marisami/Team 101Reporters

  • 13:34 (IST)

    Protesters, including relatives of those injured in the police firing, demonstrate outside the district hospital

    They have refused to accept the bodies of those killed in yesterday's police firing till their demands are met. They want the government to close down the Sterlite plant and take stringent police action against officers involved in Tuesday's firing.

    Image procured by A Joseph/NewsCart

  • 13:29 (IST)

    Watch: Policeman chases away onlookers by hurling stones at them

    As Section 144 remains in force in several parts of Thoothukudi, the policement are chasing away onlookers.

  • 13:21 (IST)

    Police fire in air outside Thoothukudi hospital to disperse protestors

    Police fire in the air outside the Thoothukudi government hospital to disperse relatives of the deceased and other protesters who had gathered there. They also resorted to lathi charge and hurled tear gas to attempt to control the crowd.

    Input by Team 101Reporters

  • 13:15 (IST)

    NHRC takes suo motu cognisance of Tuesday's incident

    National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognisance of the Tuesday's incident and also gave two weeks to the chief secretary and DGP to explain the police firing. 

  • 13:07 (IST)

    Police again uses brutal force to disperse crowd

    Collector N Venkatesh visits the Thoothukudi Medical College Hospital. Police fired to disperse protesters, including relatives of the deceased. Venkatesh has refused to meet the media. 

Anti-Sterlite protest LATEST updates: Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the state government and the police must be held responsible for the "massacre of common people".

One of the policemen who fired shots at the protesters is a member of the Special FP commando team of Thoothukudi.

One person was killed in fresh firing. Protesters have also begun pelting stones as fresh violence erupted.

Two police vehicles were set on fire by protesters as Tamil Nadu's Thoothukudi continued to burn over protests against the Vedanta group's Sterlite Copper plant. Meanwhile, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan was booked for violating Section 144 when he reached the hospital with 20 people.

The Tamil Nadu government has constituted a one member inquiry committee of retired Judge Aruna Jagadeesan to probe the issue after 11 people were killed in police firing on Tuesday. Thirty others were left injured as a mob of 20,000 people went on a rampage demanding the copper unit be shut down because it has been polluting the area. Earlier, the Union Home Ministry on Asked the Tamil Nadu government to provide details of the incident.

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has halted the construction for the new copper smelter plant of Sterlite Industries in Thoothukudi after police firing killed at least 11 people and injured more than 60. According to reports, the home ministry has sought a report from Tamil Nadu govt over Thoothukudi incident.

Politicians, actors took to Twitter to condemn Tuesday's violence in Thoothukudi, where at least nine were killed in police firing after protests for the closure of Vedanta group's Sterlite Copper plant over pollution concerns turned violent. The Opposition criticised the police action and the government's stoic silence on the issue.

Meanwhile, the Madras High Court's Madurai bench will deliver interim order on the ongoing construction of a new copper smelter by Sterlite industries in Thoothukudi, ANI reports.

Chief Minister K Palaniswamy confirmed reports about the death of nine people in "police action", while reports claimed many, including policemen, were injured in clashes. Governor Banwarilal Purohit condoled the deaths. Palaniswamy announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the families of each of the deceased, and ordered judicial inquiry into the violence.

The protests were going on in Tuticorin for over three months now, but violence erupted on Tuesday with agitators fighting pitched battles with police, prompting it to open fire. Palaniswami said in a statement in Chennai that the protesters took out a procession towards the collectorate in defiance of the prohibitory orders clamped in the specific area in Tuticorin.

Hurling stones and setting government vehicles and public property on fire, the agitators went on the rampage in the town, about 600 km from Tamil Nadu capital Chennai. Police said nearly 5,000 protesters gathered near a local church and insisted on taking a out a rally to the district collectorate after they were denied permission to march to the copper smelter plant.

Initial pushing and shoving soon led to violent clashes, after agitated locals began hurling stones at police and overturned a vehicle. Security personnel used batons and burst teargas shells to break up the protest.

Many were injured in stone-pelting by the agitators, who also set some vehicles on fire. Windscreens of some government cars were smashed and bank premises were attacked by the rampaging mobs.

As the violence spiralled, police opened fire, killing nine people. "The police had to take action under unavoidable circumstances to protect public life and property as the protestors resorted to repeated violence... police had to control the violence," Palaniswami, who holds the Home portfolio, said.

Reinforcements have been rushed from neighbouring districts to Tuticorin to assist the local administration in restoring normalcy. Some senior officials have also been despatched from Chennai to the strife-torn town to assess the situation and take measures to restore calm, sources said.

Meanwhile, an official release said about 20,000 people took out a procession towards the district collectorate and the copper plant, demanding its permanent closure. The government, underlining its "pro-people commitment", said further legal action would be taken, "respecting" their feelings.

"The Tamil Nadu government requests the people to accept this (assurance) and maintain peace," it said. The statement said the plant was in operation in Meelavitan in Tuticorin for the past 20 years.

Following a gas leak in March 2013, the then chief minister the late J Jayalalithaa, ordered its closure, following which the company moved the National Green Tribunal. With the tribunal overturning the government order, the state moved the Supreme Court against it, and the petition was now pending there, it added.

It said the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) had earlier this year rejected Sterlite's application seeking renewal of consent to operate the plant over non-fulfilment of green norms, including those related to disposal of copper waste and effluents.

The company later moved the Appellate Authority and the next hearing is slated for 6 June, it said. DMK Working President and Leader of Opposition, MK Stalin, slammed the "inhumane" firing on protestors.

In a statement, he demanded an inquiry by a sitting high court judge, besides a compensation of Rs 1 crore for the families of each of those killed. The government committed a "Himalayan blunder" by handling the protest with "guns and teargas shells," he said, adding at least a minister accompanied by the district collector should have spoken to the agitators.

He called for the removal of state police chief TK Rajendiran.

Stalin, who was to attend the swearing-in ceremony of JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy as Karnataka chief minister tomorrow, said he has cancelled his Bengaluru visit, and would head for Tuticorin to take stock of the situation. MDMK founder Vaiko likened the incident to the British era Jallianwala Bagh massacre, while the CPI(M)'s state unit demanded the chief minister's resignation.

Opposition parties including PMK, DMDK, Congress, and the MNM slammed the violence and police action, while actor Rajinikanth, who is slated to launch his political party, held the government responsible for the deaths.

Stalin and MNM founder Kamal Haasan demanded permanent closure of the plant.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: May 23, 2018 22:38:11 IST