At least nine people were killed and more than 20 others injured after police opened fire to control a group of unruly protesters in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Tuesday, local media reported. He further ordered a retired judge to probe into the incident.
The cops resorted to firing after over 5,000 protesters went on a rampage across the Tuticorin town as they were denied permission to enter the copper smelter.
Protestors at Chepauk burning effigy of Sterlite owner.
The same year in another case spearheaded by MDMK chief Vaiko, the Supreme Court had slapped a 100 crore fine on the plant for polluting over the years.
He also assured government jobs for one family member of each of those who lost their lives in accordance with their qualifications. The police firing was unavoidable, he said. Chief Minister K Palaniswami confirmed reports about the death of nine people in "police action". One person each from the victims' families will get government employment. Once the crowd started gathering for a March towards the collectorate, they became aggressive. "Since the protestors indulged in violence, the police had to resort to firing to bring the situation under control". The toll is updated as of 3:30 pm.
'The gunning down by the police of 9 people in.Tamil Nadu, is a brutal example of state sponsored terrorism. The citizens are not criminals. "The Government of Amma will take all steps possible to resolve the problem at the Sterlite factory through legal means. Everyone, please stay calm".
Rahul Gandhi said people were murdered in Tuticorin for protesting against injustice.
In the midst of this chaos a protester, whose head was allegely injured by police bullets was seen being carried, adding to the existing anger.
About 20,000 people gathered at the protest site today and stormed the district collector's office, vandalising government property. Most shops in Thoothukudi town had downed their shutters accepting the strike call given by Thoothukudi town central traders association.
In view of the law and order challenge, district collector N. Venkatesh issued Section 144 in the area.
Mob, police clash in Thoothukudi.
Reportedly, cops also used tear gases to disperse the crowd who refused to move out from the Sterlite employees residential quarters today. The protesters gheraoed police vehicle at VVD signal while on their way to collectorate.
On 24th March, a similar protest in Thoothukudi saw two lakh residents assemble peacefully to express their displeasure over Sterlite's activities. The protesters who eventually forced an entry into the compound collected petrol from the two-wheelers and used it to make petrol bombs and set ablaze almost twenty cars and bikes that were packed in the basement of the building.
"It is a complete intelligence failure by Central and state agencies".