Section 144 imposed in Thoothukudi after protests against Sterlite Industries

Section 144 imposed in Thoothukudi after protests against Sterlite Industries

Nine people were killed in Tamil Nadu after the police opened fire to quell violent protests and property damage during a demonstration demanding closure of a copper smelter run by UK-based Vedanta Resources.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also condemned the police action expressed sympathies for the families of people who died. They hurled stones at the collector's office, he said in a statement.

Most people stayed indoors as the district administration announced that prohibitory orders banning the assembly of five or more people that were imposed on Monday evening would remain in force till May 25.

The Madras High Court will today deliver its interim order on the ongoing construction of a new copper smelter by Sterlite industries in Tuticorin.

The Sterlite Copper plant and its proposed expansion in Tuticorin have invited several protests by locals and others who allege that the plant was polluting groundwater in their area.

The confederation of Tamil Nadu students organisation are planning to lay siege to the secretariat at 4pm today in light of the violence at Tuticorin and the lives lost.

On Tuesday, protesters set vehicles on fire and threw stones at police as they stormed the district government headquarters and an apartment block for Vedanta employees, the police and a company official said. Rahul Gandhi, leader of the opposition Indian National Congress party, called the incident "state sponsored terrorism".

Kamal Haasan also blamed the government for ignoring peaceful protests.

The protests against Vedanta's Sterlite Copper plant have been going on in Tuticorin for over three months now, but violence erupted on Tuesday. The company has appealed to government and authorities to ensure safety of our employees, facilities and surrounding communities.

Making it clear that the process should be completed before September 23, the judges said that Vedanta should cease the construction of the unit till then.

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