Five people have been reportedly killed and 10 others have been injured in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin where a protest between the locals and the police turned violent on Tuesday, 22 May.Several people were injured on Tuesday after the Tamil Nadu police resorted to lathi-charge as protests against Sterlite’s industrial plant intensified in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin).
Residents are demanding the closure of the plant, citing that the pollution it generates is causing serious health issues. The agitation against Sterlite Copper, which represents the copper unit of Vedanta Limited, recently escalated after the company announced the expansion of its unit in the city. Sterlite Copper, which currently operates a 400,000-tonne per annum unit in the city, maintains that it has received necessary permits and has not violated any norms.
Locals in Tuticorin have been protesting against the expansion of Sterlite plant for several months. As a part of their protest, they had planned to gherao the collector’s office as well as the Sterlite plant.With hundreds of residents and social activists protesting, there is a heavy deployment of police in the coastal city. Personnel have been rushed from neighbouring districts of Madurai and Virudhunagar to bring the situation under control.
DMK working president and Leader of Opposition M K Stalin condemned the “police atrocities” that took place during the protest this morning, reported news agency ANI. He is among many political leaders who have lent their voice to the anti-Sterlite protests.However, the police continued to lathi charge and tear gas to disperse the crowd.>