The ongoing violence in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin has claimed the lives of at least 13 people, who had demanded the closure of Vedanta’s Sterlite Copper unit. Over 70 people have been injured while clashing with the security personnel. They are currently undergoing medical treatment.
The state government has directed the District Collector of Thoothukudi to disconnect power supply to the Sterlite Copper’s smelter. The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board found the unit was carrying out activities to resume the production despite being asked not to do so until the license to operate was renewed.
The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday had ordered the suspension of the internet services in Tuticorin and adjoining districts of Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli for five days to help bring public tranquillity and also stop the spread of rumours through social media.
The situation in Tuticorin remained tensed and people were unable to get basic commodities like milk as shops closed their shutters for the third consecutive day.
Stalin demands CM Palaniswami's resignation
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president MK Stalin sat on a protest outside Tamil Nadu secretariat and demanded the immediate resignation of Chief Minister K Palaniswami and DGP Rajendran over the killings.
"CM has become ineffective. He did not bother to visit the dist & meet the people. Therefore, we demand that CM must resign immediately, DGP Rajendran must resign too," ANI quoted Stalin as saying.
Earlier on Tuesday, 11 people, including a girl, were killed and several others injured after police opened fire at protesters demanding the closure of Vedanta’s Sterlite Copper unit.
On Wednesday, angered over the killings, locals took to streets and started pelting stones at security personnel, prompting police to open fire at Anna Nagar. One person was killed in the firing and three others injured. One of the injured later succumbed to the injuries, taking the death toll to 13.
The residents of Tuticorin were protesting for over 100 days demanding the closure of the Sterlite Copper unit. They alleged that the plant was polluting groundwater and causing serious health issues.
DMK, allies call dawn-to-dusk bandh on May 25
Meanwhile, the DMK and other opposition parties in Tamil Nadu called for a dawn-to-dusk statewide bandh on Friday over the killings of 13 people in Tuticorin police firing.
"The DMK, the All India National Congress, the Dravidar Kazhagam, the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the CPI, the CPI(M), the Indian Union Muslim League, the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi will participate in the day-long statewide protest," DMK said in a statement.