Sterlite protests: Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal terms deaths 'unfortunate,' says company strictly follows court, govt orders

New Delhi: Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal on Thursday described the loss of 13 lives as 'unfortunate' in violent protests demanding closure of a copper factory owned by group firm Sterlite Copper at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu.

 Sterlite protests: Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal terms deaths unfortunate, says company strictly follows court, govt orders

Vedanta head Anil Agarwal. Image courtesy ibnlive

In a video message on Twitter, Agarwal said the company would like to continue the business at the plant with the 'wish' of the community.

At present, the company is waiting for clearance from court and government to restart the plant, which is currently closed for annual maintenance, he added.

"I am very sad to hear the incident... This was absolutely unfortunate. My full sympathy is with the families (of the deceased)," Agarwal said.

Claiming that the company strictly follows what the court and the government orders are, he said,"We always make sure the community and Tuticorin people at large prosper with us."

The NRI billionaire further said, "I am totally committed for the community, people at large, and with their wish and with their prosperity we would like to continue this business."

Reiterating the commitment of the company to environment and "the development of people of Tuticorin and Tamil Nadu", Agarwal said,"(we) will abide by the law of the land. Once again, I am very much in pain, (with) what happened..."

The total number of deaths in the protest against the copper smelter plant touched 11 on 23 May with death of a man in fresh police firing. As many as 10 people have lost their lives in police action till Tuesday.

The Madras High Court has stayed a proposed expansion of the plant.

Locals have been agitating for over 100 days now, demanding closure of the Vedanta group copper plant over pollution concerns.

The Tamil Nadu government has constituted an inquiry commission to look into the matter. The Commission of Inquiry, headed by Aruna Jagadeesan a retired judge of the Madras High Court, will probe the violence.

Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) took suo motu cognisance of the violence and issued notices to chief secretary and the director general of police, calling for detailed reports in two weeks.

Updated Date: May 24, 2018 21:21:01 IST