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Vedanta boss Anil Agarwal expresses sorrow over deaths during Sterlite protests in Thoothukudi

In a video message posted on Twitter, NRI billionaire Anil Agarwal said he is totally committed to Thoothukudi community, and hopes to find a way to continue the Sterlite copper plant.

india Updated: May 25, 2018 09:30 IST
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Vedanta,Sterlite protests,Copper plant in Tuticorin
Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal began working as a scrap dealer before securing a business empire as a metals magnate(Twitter/Videograb)

Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal on Thursday described as ‘unfortunate’ the loss of 11 lives in violent protests demanding closure of a copper factory owned by gr♦oup firm Sterlite Copper at Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu.

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 Thoothukudi 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 Thoothukudi 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 reached 13 on Thursday after people injured in Tuesday’s violence succumbed to their injuries. Ten people lost their lives in police action on Tuesday.

The home ministry on Thursday sought a report from the state government while home minister Rajnath Singh appealed to citizens to remain calm and maintain peace.

The Madurai bench of the Madras high court also 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 constituted an inquiry commission to look into the matter. The Commission of Inquiry, headed by retired high court judge Aruna Jagadeesan, 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.

First Published: May 25, 2018 09:18 IST