One dead in fresh violence in Thoothukudi Anti-Sterlite Protest

On NSE shares of the company dropped 6 per cent to Rs 253.75

In an apparent reference to the anti-copper plant violence at Tuticorin yesterday in which 10 people were killed in police firing, Gandhi said he was with the Tamil people.

What does Sterlite Copper have to say regarding the protests?

Women shout slogans during a protest against the government and police forces after at least nine people were killed when police fired at protesters calling for the closure of a Vedanta Resources-controlled copper smelter in Thootukudi, in southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, in Chennai, India, May 22, 2018.

The agitation turned violent after protestors were barred from marching up to the plant, due to which they began to pelt stones and toppled police vehicles.In retaliation, police officials resorted to lathi-charge and tear gas to disperse the crowd to contain the situation. Windscreens of some government cars were smashed and bank premises were attacked by the rampaging mobs. Fresh firing was reported today, and one out of the three people who were shot has succumbed to his injuries. "The Tamil Nadu government requests the people to accept this (assurance) and maintain peace", it said. Reinforcements had to be rushed in from neighbouring districts to Tuticorin to assist the local administration in restoring normalcy.

Local residents have been protesting for months against the plant, which is operated by Sterlite Copper, a subsidiary of London-based Vedanta Resources. The government, underlining its "pro-people commitment", said further legal action would be taken, "respecting" their feelings.

"We were forced to fire rubber bullets which unfortunately hit one man in the spine and he died", he added.

The headspring of public ire in Tuticorin is a Sterlite Copper plant (owned by Vedanta) which locals say pollutes groundwater.

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. Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam founder Vaiko likened the incident to the British era Jallianwala Bagh massacre, while the Communist Party of India-Marxist's state unit demanded the chief minister's resignation.

Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami ordered the judicial inquiry into the shootings but defended the police.

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