A day after 11 people lost their lives, another man was killed in fresh police firing on the protesters demonstrating against the Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi, or Tuticorin, on Wednesday. Reports of clashes between protesters and security personnel continued to be reported from the coastal town of Tamil Nadu. The number of injured has also gone up following the fresh agitation.
Enraged over Tuesday’s killings, protesters took to the streets and showered stones and brickbats at police, prompting security personnel to open fire at Anna Nagar, said officials.
The body of the man killed in firing, and those injured have been rushed to a government hospital.
On Tuesday, the protest had entered its 100th day. The agitators have been demanding the closure of the plant run by the Vedanta Group.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Madras High Court had stayed the expansion of the Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi.
The development came a day after at least 11 people were killed in police firing as protests against the Sterlite expansion plans turned violent in Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu.
The company had filed an application to obtain environmental clearance to expand its plant in the coastal city in February 2018. The plan entails to doubling of the capacity of its copper smelter to 800,000 tonnes per year.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday claimed that Tamils are being killed as they refused to “bow” to the ideology of the RSS. In an apparent reference to the anti-copper plant violence at Tuticorin, Gandhi said he backs the Tamil people.
“Tamils are being killed since they refuse to bow to the ideology of the RSS. The feelings of the Tamil people can never be trampled by the bullets of the RSS and Modi. We are with you Tamil brothers and sisters #SterliteProtest,” he said in a tweet in Tamil.
The Congress chief had in a tweet yesterday said that the gunning down of people is a “brutal example of state sponsored terrorism”.
“These citizens were murdered for protesting against injustice,” he wrote.