Home News Sterlite protest LIVE updates: Raja Dhileeban, cop who fired shots in Thoothukudi, is member of a commando team

Sterlite protest LIVE updates: Raja Dhileeban, cop who fired shots in Thoothukudi, is member of a commando team

32 min read

Input by Prabakar/101Reporters “>

16:39 (IST)

Filmmaker and politician T Rajender condemns govt for not shutting down Sterlite plant

Speaking to reporters after meeting with the victims of Tuesday's violence, filmmaker and politician T Rajender said, "I am not here as the leader of a political party, but as a Tamilian and a common man."

Talking in his signature rhyming style, he condemned the government for not shutting down the Sterlite plant but instead turning on its own people and killing them with guns. He said the Tamil people hadn't witnessed such brutality even under colonial rule.

Input by Prabakar/101Reporters

Input by Saminathan/ PTI “>

16:29 (IST)

Vaiko gets emotional while meeting those injured in the firing

Input by Saminathan/PTI

16:21 (IST)

Raja Dhileeban, the policeman who opened fire, is a member of Special FP commando team of Thoothukudi: Sources

16:11 (IST)

Watch: People gather outside mortuary at Government Medical College

The people urged those capturing videos to share it on social media so that others would join the protests.

Input by Prabakar/101Reporters

Input by Prabakar/101Reporters “>

16:04 (IST)

Visuals of firing outside the government hospital earlier

The police, while dispersing crowds outside the government hospital in Thoothukudi, got involved in an angry confrontation with the reporter. Over-hearing him narrating the scene before him, where he says the police are ganging up and attacking young boys, some of the police officers argued with the reporter, saying they too have been subject to attacks and injuries because of stone-pelting. 'Who is shooting people? Am I shooting anyone?' an angry cops shouted at the reporter. The reporter then said the police has refused to divulge who gave them the orders to resort to this fresh lathicharge.

Input by Prabakar/101Reporters

15:52 (IST)

Resident of Anna Nagar who died in fresh firing

15:48 (IST)

Visuals of injured being brought to the general hospital

Input by Prabakar/101Reporters “>

15:37 (IST)

Federation of Traders' Association president says businesses will be shut across Tamil Nadu tomorrow

Federation of Traders' Association president T Vellaiyan has announced that businesses will be shut across Tamil Nadu on Thursday to condemn Tuesday's killings in Thoothukudi.

Input by Prabakar/101Reporters

15:35 (IST)

MK Stalin meets those injured in the firing

15:31 (IST)

Shame on Tamil Nadu's visionless, spineless govt: Actor Prakash Raj

15:24 (IST)

Is the chief minister also accountable?

It was not as if the government was unaware of the 100th day protest. The question is whether the judicial probe by retired Judge Aruna Jagadeesan will fix culpability of only the district administration or from the CM, chief secretary and DGP downwards. Did Edappadi Palaniswami brief the district minister and the collector on how to handle the situation? All we know is that EPS was inaugurating a flower show in Ooty last week.

15:12 (IST)

Rahulji, we will gift you a 6th standard Civics textbook: BJP

"Rahul Gandhi is milking a situation which is sad and in which 11 people have died. In a federal structure, law and order is a state subject," said BJP's Sambit Patra in a press conference.

"Rahulji, we will gift you a 6th standard Civics textbook," he further said. "We have seen as to how Rahul Gandhi is the cause of Congress' loss."

15:09 (IST)

Stalin arrives at general hospital in Tuticorin

DMK leader Stalin has arrived at the general hospital in Tuticorin to meet the injured.

15:05 (IST)

One person killed in fresh firing

News reports have said that at least one person has died in fresh firing.

14:58 (IST)

Protests planned near Chepauk guest house

Student Federation of India, Democratic Youth Federation of India and All India Democratic Women's Association are planning to protest near Chepauk guest house at around 4.30pm.

Input by Krithika Srinivasan/The NewsCart

14:41 (IST)

Three more injured in police firing in Thoothukudi's Anna Nagar

Fresh firing was reported in Thoothukudi's Anna Nagar area at around 2.30 pm. Sources said, three policemen, including SP Mahendran, are injured.

14:34 (IST)

At least, one should die: Policeman caught saying on tape

In a video released by The News Minute, two policemen are seen getting on top of a van and taking aim at protesters to shoot them down. While even the visuals enraged activists and the public, the audio heard in the background is even more chilling. As a policeman is on top of the van, a voice in the background can be heard saying, “At least one should die.”

14:30 (IST)

Protesters torch vehicles in Thoothukudi's Byrant Nagar

14:25 (IST)

Kamal Haasan meeting victims earlier during the day

14:19 (IST)

Police says strict action against those inciting violence

14:13 (IST)

Forces deployed outside General Hospital in Tuticorin 

The government deployed forces outside the General Hospital in Thoothukudi after protesters set vehicles ablaze outside the hospital.

14:07 (IST)

Kamal Haasan booked for violating Section 144

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan booked for violating Section 144. He visited the hospital to meet victims with at least 20 people despite the imposition of Section 144.

14:05 (IST)

Protesters torch police vehicles outside Thoothukudi hospital

Over 50 police vehicles have been rallying through Thoothukudi to ensure peace following violence that erupted after police fired two rounds to disperse protesters outside the Thoothukudi Hospital. Two police vehicles, including one in Byrant Nagar, were burnt down by unidentified miscreants.

13:59 (IST)

Tamils are assassinated because they refuse to subscribe to RSS sidhanta: Rahul Gandhi

Tamils ​​are assassinated because they refuse to subscribe to RS Siddhanta. The bullets of the RSS and Modi can never crush the feelings of the Tamil people. Brothers and sisters, we are with you.

13:57 (IST)

Bus was set ablaze by protesters outside General Hospital in Tuticorin

13:54 (IST)

No amount of compensation is enough, says Kamal Haasan

Kamal Haasan met with the relatives of the injured and the deceased at the government hospital in Thoothukudi, consoling them. Speaking to reporters, he said no amount of compensation given to those who had died would be enough and that it seemed like the shooting was engineered to satisfy someone. The truth about who instigated the cops to shoot at the protestors should be brought out, he said.

Input by Prabakar/101Reporters

13:53 (IST)

Rajnikanth shares video message amid stir over police firing

Actor and politician-in-waiting Rajnikanth released a video message condemning that brutal action of the government machinery in Thoothukudi and expressed his sympathies for the families of the people killed yesterday.

13:45 (IST)

Six-member team starts medical examination of the deceased in presence of four judges

13:37 (IST)

22 arrested for road block protest

Road block protest by Tamil Desa Makkal Munnani started by 9.30 am and lasted for half an hour. About 22 protesters have been arrested so far. 

Input by Krithika Srinivasan/The NewsCart

Input by P Marisami/Team 101Reporters “>

13:35 (IST)

DMK and allies to stage massive protest on 25 May

The DMK and its allies will stage a massive protest across all district capitals on 25 May against the killings on Tuesday and calling for the permanent closure of the Sterlite plants.

The Tamil Nadu government has appointed retired judge Aruna Jagadeesan to head the inquiry into Tuesday's firing incident.

Input by P Marisami/Team 101Reporters

Image procured by A Joseph/NewsCart “>

13:34 (IST)

Protesters, including relatives of those injured in the police firing, demonstrate outside the district hospital

They have refused to accept the bodies of those killed in yesterday's police firing till their demands are met. They want the government to close down the Sterlite plant and take stringent police action against officers involved in Tuesday's firing.

Image procured by A Joseph/NewsCart

13:29 (IST)

Watch: Policeman chases away onlookers by hurling stones at them

As Section 144 remains in force in several parts of Thoothukudi, the policement are chasing away onlookers.

13:21 (IST)

Police fire in air outside Thoothukudi hospital to disperse protestors

Police fire in the air outside the Thoothukudi government hospital to disperse relatives of the deceased and other protesters who had gathered there. They also resorted to lathi charge and hurled tear gas to attempt to control the crowd.

Input by Team 101Reporters

13:15 (IST)

NHRC takes suo motu cognisance of Tuesday's incident

National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognisance of the Tuesday's incident and also gave two weeks to the chief secretary and DGP to explain the police firing. 

13:07 (IST)

Police again uses brutal force to disperse crowd

Collector N Venkatesh visits the Thoothukudi Medical College Hospital. Police fired to disperse protesters, including relatives of the deceased. Venkatesh has refused to meet the media. 

12:55 (IST)

Retired Judge Aruna Jagadeesan has been appointed by the Tamil Nadu government to probe police firing during anti-Sterlite protest in Thoothukudi

12:45 (IST)

Protesters were misled by groups with vested interests, claims Sterlite Copper CEO P Ramnath

In an exclusive interview with Sterlite Copper CEO P Ramnath, Business Today in this report quoted the CEO as saying, "I totally regret what happened today. It was totally uncalled for and is really unfortunate. We had, in fact, taken all the precautionary steps by getting the court order for section 144. The police and the collector had also taken precautionary steps by calling for a peace meeting with the protestors but only one faction agreed to abide by what the collector and the superintendent of police had to say and they were allowed to conduct protests but there was one more faction which did not agree to this and they went ahead and took the law in their own hands. They started attacking the police, the collectorate, damaged and burnt a lot of vehicles. Our property was also attacked. In the township lot of employee vehicles were burnt. So, there was complete lawlessness, including perhaps infiltration of number of nefarious elements, who probably had their own interests and it all took a violent turn, which we completely regret. Although we expected it to be peaceful given Section 144 and considering the efforts made by the police and the collectorate."

12:41 (IST)

Petition in Madras HC filed by R Fatima of Thoothukudi

The petition to halt construction work at the new smelter plant was filed by R Fatima of Thoothukudi. Following the interim order, she told Puthiya Thalaimurai, "Although this is an interim stay, there are possibilities of it becoming a permanent stay." In her petition, Fatima stated that Sterlite Industries obtained environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests for a second copper smelter plant in 2009. It was renewed in 2015 and 2016 by allegedly misrepresenting the project location. Sterlite claimed that it was within a notified industrial complex. 

But according to the petitioner, SIPCOT Industrial Estate Phase II, where the proposed copper smelter plant was to be commissioned, itself was yet to obtain  environmental clearance from the authorities. Fathima had alleged that the environmental clearance was given to the second copper plant without any public hearing, one of the requirements for the grant of clearance.

12:36 (IST)

Madras HC ordered to conduct a people’s referendum on the expansion of Sterlite Industries

The Madurai bench of Madras High Court has ordered a stay on the expansion works of Sterlite copper plant in Thoothukudi. The court’s order has been passed based on a petition filed by Professor Fathima against the expansion works. The petitioner claimed that the plant’s expansion works are carried out at a place different from the permitted one.

The bench, consisting of judges Sundar and Anitha Sumanth, also ordered to conduct a people’s referendum on the expansion. The court also directed the Centre to consider the petition by Vedanta Resources for environmental clearance and take a decision in four months.

Input by Marisami/101Reporters

12:17 (IST)

Thoothukudi incident wasn't just a tragedy, it was also unavoidable: Environment Support Group

Environment Support Group India released a citizen's statement according to which "not only was this tragedy totally avoidable, it appears that the Police have even given hot pursuit and shot at women and others in fishing hamlets like Theresepuram."

"The Government of Tamil Nadu, Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and the Thoothukudi District Administration are squarely responsible for allowing the situation to get to this unfortunate state by allowing Vedanta Sterlite to violate environmental and land use planning laws with impunity for over two decades, the statement read. It called for, at the very least, the resignation of senior minister who failed to "read the signs and take preventive measures".

12:08 (IST)

Vedanta shares plummet, at its lowest since 5 July, 2017

Vedanta shares are at a 10-month low. It was down as much as 5.50 percent in morning session. The fall comes a day after at least 11 people were killed as residents of Tuticorin protested Sterlite Copper's industrial unit in Tuticorin. Sterlite is controlled by Vedanta, a majority-owned subsidiary of London-listed Vedanta Resources. 

11:56 (IST)

Thoothukudi reels from Tuesday's shock: Bus services suspended, normal life hit

For the second day, all buses from Thoothukudi heading towards cities like Thiruchendur, Tirunelveli, and Madurai have been suspended. Both new and old bus stands in the city remained empty.

As a sign of protest against yesterday’s police firing, businesses are shut across Thoothukudi today.

Input by Marisami/101Reporters

11:51 (IST)

Lawyers submit oral appeal in Madras HC to order investigation in Sterlite protests

Lawyers at the Madras High Court have made an oral appeal to the court to proactively order an investigation into the police firing on Tuesday which claimed 11 lives and injured more than 60. The four lawyers which include, advocates Rajini and Kannan, made the appeal to the bench comprising JusticeKrishnakumar and Justice Suresh Kumar.

They also insisted that those injured should be given the best of medical care. The bench asked the lawyers to submit a formal petition in this regard.

Input by Marisami/101Reporters

11:45 (IST)

Madurai bench of Madras High Court stays construction of a new copper smelter by Sterlite industries in Thoothukudi

11:42 (IST)

Watch: Policemen take aim during Tuesday protests in Thoothukudi

The video shows policemen in plain clothes taking aim from top of a police van and firing at protesters. 

Video procured by Naveen Nair

Video procured by Naveen Nair “>

11:39 (IST)

Watch: Video shows protesters scamper for cover as police resort to lathicharge at anti-Vedanta protesters

Video procured by Naveen Nair

11:29 (IST)

Was the police firing pre-planned?

Tuesday's incident has triggered speculations that the police firing during the protests against Sterlite Industries was planned in advanced. “It is pre-planned, cold blooded murder,” The Wire quoted Thamizhaga Vaazhvurimai Katchi leader T Velmurugan as saying. The report quoted sources and said that the police had intended to kill the organisers of the protest.

ANI . “>

11:19 (IST)

MHA seeks report from Tamil Nadu govt over Thoothukudi police firing

The Ministry of Home Affairs has  sought a report from the Tamil Nadu government over the Thoothukudi police firing during protests against Sterlite industries on Tuesday, reports ANI.

11:09 (IST)

MDMK chief Vaiko meets the injured at Tuticorin general hospital

Image procured by A Joseph/NewsCart

10:28 (IST)

Section 44 imposed in Thoothukudi and adjoining areas till Friday

District Collector N Venkatesh has ordered the extension of Section 144 in various parts of Thoothukudi, including Arumugamangalam, Vadanatham, Ottapidaram, and Alappuzha till 25 May. A gathering of over five persons in these areas will be a violation of law.

Anti-Sterlite protest LATEST updates: One of the policemen who fired shots at the protesters is a member of the Special FP commando team of Thoothukudi.

One person was killed in fresh firing. Protesters have also begun pelting stones as fresh violence erupted.

Two police vehicles were set on fire by protesters as Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi continued to burn over protests against the Vedanta group’s Sterlite Copper plant. Meanwhile, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan was booked for violating Section 144 when he reached the hospital with 20 people.

The Tamil Nadu government has constituted a one member inquiry committee of retired Judge Aruna Jagadeesan to probe the issue after 11 people were killed in police firing on Tuesday. Thirty others were left injured as a mob of 20,000 people went on a rampage demanding the copper unit be shut down because it has been polluting the area. Earlier, the Union Home Ministry on Asked the Tamil Nadu government to provide details of the incident.

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has halted the construction for the new copper smelter plant of Sterlite Industries in Thoothukudi after police firing killed at least 11 people and injured more than 60. According to reports, the home ministry has sought a report from Tamil Nadu govt over Thoothukudi incident.

Politicians, actors took to Twitter to condemn Tuesday’s violence in Thoothukudi, where at least nine were killed in police firing after protests for the closure of Vedanta group’s Sterlite Copper plant over pollution concerns turned violent. The Opposition criticised the police action and the government’s stoic silence on the issue.

Meanwhile, the Madras High Court’s Madurai bench will deliver interim order on the ongoing construction of a new copper smelter by Sterlite industries in Thoothukudi, ANI reports.

Chief Minister K Palaniswamy confirmed reports about the death of nine people in “police action”, while reports claimed many, including policemen, were injured in clashes. Governor Banwarilal Purohit condoled the deaths. Palaniswamy announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the families of each of the deceased, and ordered judicial inquiry into the violence.

The protests were going on in Tuticorin for over three months now, but violence erupted on Tuesday with agitators fighting pitched battles with police, prompting it to open fire. Palaniswami said in a statement in Chennai that the protesters took out a procession towards the collectorate in defiance of the prohibitory orders clamped in the specific area in Tuticorin.

Hurling stones and setting government vehicles and public property on fire, the agitators went on the rampage in the town, about 600 km from Tamil Nadu capital Chennai. Police said nearly 5,000 protesters gathered near a local church and insisted on taking a out a rally to the district collectorate after they were denied permission to march to the copper smelter plant.

Initial pushing and shoving soon led to violent clashes, after agitated locals began hurling stones at police and overturned a vehicle. Security personnel used batons and burst teargas shells to break up the protest.

Many were injured in stone-pelting by the agitators, who also set some vehicles on fire. Windscreens of some government cars were smashed and bank premises were attacked by the rampaging mobs.

As the violence spiralled, police opened fire, killing nine people. “The police had to take action under unavoidable circumstances to protect public life and property as the protestors resorted to repeated violence… police had to control the violence,” Palaniswami, who holds the Home portfolio, said.

Reinforcements have been rushed from neighbouring districts to Tuticorin to assist the local administration in restoring normalcy. Some senior officials have also been despatched from Chennai to the strife-torn town to assess the situation and take measures to restore calm, sources said.

Meanwhile, an official release said about 20,000 people took out a procession towards the district collectorate and the copper plant, demanding its permanent closure. The government, underlining its “pro-people commitment”, said further legal action would be taken, “respecting” their feelings.

“The Tamil Nadu government requests the people to accept this (assurance) and maintain peace,” it said. The statement said the plant was in operation in Meelavitan in Tuticorin for the past 20 years.

Following a gas leak in March 2013, the then chief minister the late J Jayalalithaa, ordered its closure, following which the company moved the National Green Tribunal. With the tribunal overturning the government order, the state moved the Supreme Court against it, and the petition was now pending there, it added.

It said the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) had earlier this year rejected Sterlite’s application seeking renewal of consent to operate the plant over non-fulfilment of green norms, including those related to disposal of copper waste and effluents.

The company later moved the Appellate Authority and the next hearing is slated for 6 June, it said. DMK Working President and Leader of Opposition, MK Stalin, slammed the “inhumane” firing on protestors.

In a statement, he demanded an inquiry by a sitting high court judge, besides a compensation of Rs 1 crore for the families of each of those killed. The government committed a “Himalayan blunder” by handling the protest with “guns and teargas shells,” he said, adding at least a minister accompanied by the district collector should have spoken to the agitators.

He called for the removal of state police chief TK Rajendiran.

Stalin, who was to attend the swearing-in ceremony of JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy as Karnataka chief minister tomorrow, said he has cancelled his Bengaluru visit, and would head for Tuticorin to take stock of the situation. MDMK founder Vaiko likened the incident to the British era Jallianwala Bagh massacre, while the CPI(M)’s state unit demanded the chief minister’s resignation.

Opposition parties including PMK, DMDK, Congress, and the MNM slammed the violence and police action, while actor Rajinikanth, who is slated to launch his political party, held the government responsible for the deaths.

Stalin and MNM founder Kamal Haasan demanded permanent closure of the plant.

With inputs from PTI


Published Date: May 23, 2018 16:21 PM
| Updated Date: May 23, 2018 16:39 PM


Updated Date: May 23, 2018 16:39 PM

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