Tamil Nadu Appoints Former Judge To Head Inquiry On Tuticorin Violence

Doug Mendoza
May 23, 2018

Actor-turned-politician and Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan on Wednesday visited General Hospital in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) to meet the protesters injured in the police firing. With the tribunal overturning the government order, the state moved the Supreme Court against it, and the petition was now pending there, it added.

In a major relief to the protesters at Thoothukudi, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday stayed the expansion of Sterlite copper smelter plant. The police have filed a case against Haasan and some of his party workers for visiting Thoothukudi‬ in violation of the prohibitory orders, some reports said.

"Mass murder of innocent people", he tweeted on Wednesday.

Enraged over Tuesday's killings, protesters took to streets and showered stones and brickbats at police, prompting security personnel to open fire at Anna Nagar. "Why were automatic weapons used to disperse the crowd and under what law is this permitted?" In the ensuing violence, 11 protestors died as local police officials allegedly fired live ammunition and tear gas to dispel the crowds. In a video that has surfaced, the police can be seen taking aim with assault rifles, and the audio in the background suggests that they were aiming to kill the unarmed protesters.

The head of the national opposition Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, condemned the use of lethal force, calling it "a brutal example of state-sponsored terrorism".

Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami ordered a judicial inquiry into Tuesday's shootings but defended the police response.

Madras High Court issues interim stay on expansion of Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi

"These citizens were murdered for protesting against injustice", he wrote. "The police had to take action under unavoidable circumstances to protect public life and property as the protestors resorted to repeated violence. police had to control the violence", Palaniswami, who holds the home portfolio, said.

"I look forward to another strong year for the company", Agarwal said in a statement. It has the capacity to produce 4,00,000-tonne of copper cathode a year.

The plant, about 375 miles (600km) south of Tamil Nadu's state capital Chennai, is now shut as the company awaits a licence to expand the site.

"A recent survey shows that maximum protests happen in Tamil Nadu".

Tuticorin witnessed violent demonstrations in 2012 over a nuclear power plant in neighbouring Kudankulam district that left one person dead.

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Other reports by GizPress

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