Meanwhile, the Centre today asked the Tamil Nadu government to provide details of the incident at Tuticorin where nine people were killed in police firing during protest demanding the closure of Vedanta group's Sterlite Copper plant over pollution concerns, officials said. "Will there be justice for #SterliteProtest?"
The Congress chief had in a tweet yesterday said that the gunning down of people is a "brutal example of state sponsored terrorism". These citizens were murdered for protesting against injustice. Protestors set fire a local administrator's office and burned more than 110 vehicles, according to police, who responded with batons and tear gas before firing on the crowd. "It is not me but the victims who are demanding this". Actor Rajnikanth also took to Twitter and slammed the AIADMK. About 20 police officers were also injured in the skirmish, which occurred in the southern port city Tuticorin.
The Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the Vedanta group to stop construction of second unit of the Sterlite copper smelter plant in Tamil Nadu's Thoothukudi district.
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Residents have been protesting for months against the plant as environmentalists and locals allege the plant is contaminating water resources, a charge denied by the company.
Almost 5000 people demanding closure of the Vedanta group-owned plant today went on the rampage over pollution concerns, clashing with police, and setting vehicles and public property on fire. The violence has brought the decades-old protest back in the spotlight.
Detailing the events leading to the "unfortunate" deaths, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said the protesters took out a procession towards the Collectorate defying prohibitory orders in the area.
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Agarwal said Vedanta remained well-positioned to capitalise on India's growing resources demand.
The factory was also shut in 2001 after it was found to have disposed mercury waste without following proper protocol.
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