On Tuticorin Firing, Chief Minister Palaniswami Defends Police: 10 Facts

Vedanta Resources’ subsidiary Sterlite Copper has begun construction of a new 4-million tonne  year smelter on the edge of the town of Tuticorin

Protests Against a Copper Plant in Southern India Turn Deadly as 12 People Are Killed by Police

Another activist group, 'Tamil People in U.K.' is also reportedly outraged by the recent occurrences in Thoothukudi.

Tuticorin: The violence in Tuticorin has left the entire nation shocked with at least 13 protestors getting killed in alleged police firing in Tuticorin, now known as Thoothukudi.

Maintaining that he is unfamiliar with exact details of the ongoing protests against the Sterlite Copper unit in Tuticorin, having just returned from a trip overseas, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday said that "all this" - developments leading up to the massive protests - took place during the previous government's tenure.

"People have been protesting this plant for over 20 years, and it is unfortunate that the issue has got the attention it deserves because of the killings", said Ritwick Dutta, an environmental lawyer who has fought a case against Sterlite in the Supreme Court. "We have been able to show that the expanded area is not part of SIPCOT, they can not bypass the public consultation", Shweta Narayan, an activist protesting against the plant, said.

Earlier in the day, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board had ordered closure of the Sterlite smelter with immediate effect. "The Tamil Nadu government appears to be protecting the interests of a greedy industry, and not those of the farmers and common people".

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Singh said, "I am deeply pained at the loss of precious lives during the agitation in Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu. My thoughts & prayers are with the families of these martyrs and the injured". "Taking moral responsibility, [Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu] Edappadi K Palaniswami should resign", local politician and a member of member of the Indian parliament Anbumani Ramadoss said, as cited by the Times of India. "So on such situations, no one acts in a pre-planned manner", he said.

Sterlite Copper's Tuticorin plant directly employs 3,500 people while 30,000-40,000 people are employed indirectly.

Hearing a petition filed by the protesters, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday stayed the expansion of the plant.

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. This plea will be heard on Friday by the court.

A curfew remained in pockets of Tuticorin city in Tamil Nadu state where police used live ammunition to disperse protesters this week, provoking global outrage and demands for an immediate investigation. The angry protesters, who have been protesting for the past 100 days, took out a procession towards the Collectorate defying prohibitory orders in the area.

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