Sterlite protests Highlights: Over 65 people have been arrested for indulging in violence, says Thoothukudi collector
Eleven people have died in clashes with police over the past two days during protests against the Vedanta-owed Sterlite copper plant in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi.india Updated: May 25, 2018 09:06 IST
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and other opposition parties in Tamil Nadu have called for a dawn-to-dusk bandh on Friday after one more person died in clashes with police in Thoothukudi.
Violence erupted in the southern Tamil Nadu port city two days ago as people protested against the Vedanta-owned Sterlite copper plant, which environmentalists and residents claim is contaminating water sources — a charge the company denies. Police shot dead 10 persons when it opened fire on a rally on Tuesday, which marked the 100th day of demonstrations.
On Wednesday, another person died from being hit by a rubber bullet, taking the death toll up to 11.
Internet services were ordered suspended in the city and neighbouring districts of Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari as anger and resentment against police action continued to smoulder.
The Madurai bench of the Madras high court also ordered Vedanta to stop construction of a second unit of the plant, while the home ministry sought a report from the state government about the violence.
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Photos of a vandalised ATM & vehicles set ablaze during anti-#SterliteProtests in #Thoothukudi. At present internet is suspended in the area & Section 144 (prevents assembly of more than 4 people) is imposed. #TamilNadu pic.twitter.com/dDsOIp2DQi— ANI (@ANI) May 24, 2018
3.57pm: Supreme Court lawyer GS Mani has filed a writ petition the Court seeking registration of FIR and investigation by the CBI against Thoothukudi collector, superintendent of police and other police officials, reports ANI news agency.
3.54pm: 65 people have been arrested and remanded for indulging in violence during Sterlite protests in Thoothukudi. Another 68 people have been arrested and will be produced in front of the magistrate for causing damage to public property and indulging in violence: Sandeep Nanduri, Collector told ANI news.
3.50pm: A meeting is being held at the collector’s office in Thoothukudi, which is being chaired by govt monitoring officers, Davidhar and Gagandeep Singh Bedi. Other officials are also present in the meeting. The meeting is being held to discuss on how normalcy can be brought in the region, reports ANI news agency.
3.00pm: Vedanta Resources chairman Anil Agarwal expresses sorrow over the “unfortunate turn of events at Thoothukudi”.
Saddened by the unfortunate turn of events at Tuticorin. pic.twitter.com/yURUUdlwn3— Anil Agarwal (@AnilAgarwal_Ved) May 24, 2018
1:17pm: “The entire episode which happened was primarily because of certain political parties, NGOs and anti-social elements, who took protestors to a wrong path,” said chief minister E Palaniswami, according to ANI.
1:15 pm: Tamil Nadu chief minister E Palaniswami defends police action in Thoothukudi. “If someone is attacked, the natural course would be to defend and safeguard themselves. This is what has been done by the police in response,” he tells media.
12:50pm: Union home minister Rajnath Singh condoles deaths due to police firing in Thoothukudi, and appeals to people in Thoothukudi to remain calm and maintain peace. Also says the Prime Minister is concerned by what is happening.
Deeply pained by loss of lives during protests in Tuticorin. PM is also concerned about situation & is pained by loss of lives. MHA has taken cognisance of situation & asked for report from state govt. Our thoughts are with the people of Tuticorin: HM Rajnath Singh #Thoothukudi pic.twitter.com/w3sOrtDMUd— ANI (@ANI) May 24, 2018
12:27pm: “My first priority is to bring back normalcy. As far as the violence, the shooting and who gave the orders for the shooting is concerned, an inquiry will be done by a judge appointed by the Tamil Nadu government,” said Thoothukudi district collector Sandeep Nanduri, according to ANI.
12:25pm: DMK workers and police clash outside Tamil Nadu secretariat, while the former were protesting against police firing in Thoothukudi. DMK workers later blocked the police vehicle in which MK Stalin and other party leaders were being taken.
12:10pm: DMK working president MK Stalin, who was holding a protest outside Tamil Nadu secretariat detained by police. Several other party leaders detained too.
11:48am: DMK working president MK Stalin stages protest with other party leaders outside Tamil Nadu secretariat.
11:30am: A Tamil Nadu-based advocate moved a plea in Delhi high court seeking its direction to the National Human Rights Commission to visit the protests location and conduct a separate inquiry into the Thoothukudi violence. The commission had sought a report from the state police and chief secretary of the state. The court is likely to hear the petition on Friday, reports ANI.
11:05am: Stalin attacks the state government over the deaths of protesters. “Even after deaths of innocent people, no action has been taken against the culprits. The chief minister has become ineffective. He did not bother to visit the district and meet the people. Therefore, we demand that he resign immediately, DGP Rajendran must resign too,” the DMK working president said, according to ANI.
10:10am: Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has directed Thoothukudi district collector to disconnect power supply to Sterlite Copper’s smelter. The board found that the unit was ‘carrying out activities to resume production’ despite being told not to do so until its licence to operate is renewed, reports ANI.
9:10am: DMK to demand shutting down Sterlite copper plant in Thoothukudi, reports ANI.
8:55am: ANI reports that 67 people have been arrested for indulging in violence.
8:30am: “State government knew that this being 100th day of agitation, it’s going to be bigger. They should’ve made better arrangements to maintain law and order but nothing was done. They simply resorted to firing. It was a massacre, almost like Jallianwala Bagh,” says Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, according to ANI.
8:15am: The DMK and opposition parties have called for a dawn-to-dusk banch on Friday to protest the violence. DMK working president MK Stalin visited a government hospital on Wednesday to meet those injured in Tuesday’s clashes.
8:10am: RSS hit out at Congress president Rahul Gandhi for his comments that Tamils were being killed for refusing to “bow” to the right-wing outfit. “A frustrated Congress party and its president Rahul Gandhi are trying to create more divisions in the society to regain their lost support,” said RSS national joint secretary Manmohan Vaidya.
8am: Internet services remain suspended in Thoothukudi.