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Madras High Court stays Sterlite expansion

The situation in Tuticorin remains tense but under control. Protestors set buses on fire at several places. One protestor died as security forces tried to keep angry protesting crowds under control. The state administration in Tamil Nadu has declared prohibitory orders under Section 144 in the violence hit areas of the city for 72 hours. The state government clarified that the police had to take unavoidable action to bring the situation under control.

As a result, shops, schools and offices remained shut and the streets wore a deserted look. Buses and autos are still off the road for the second consecutive day. The Chief Minister has also announced compensation of 10 lakh rupees for the victims. Police force has been strengthened throughout the district. Extra security has also been provided to the Government Medical College Hospital where injured are being treated.

Several political leaders, including Kamal Hasan who has recently launched a party visited the injured at the hospital. This caused crowds to gather at the Hospitals which hampered their smooth functioning. For this reason, senior doctors have appealed to public figures including politicians to stay away from the hospitals.

BJP attacked the Congress for politicizing the issue. Party President Rahul Gandhi blamed the RSS for the violence.

Meanwhile, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has stayed the extension of the plant of Sterlite Copper industry in Thuthukkudi, Tamil Nadu. Disposing of a petition in this regard, a High court bench ordered that all works in this regard must be stopped immediately. The bench also ordered that a public hearing should be held among people regarding the functioning and extension of the industry within four months. The court has also asked the central Government to provide details about the approval given for extension activities of the industry.  The case has been adjourned till 13th of next month.

The National Human Rights Commission taking suo moto cognisance of the deaths has also sent a notice to the Tamil Nadu’s chief secretary and police chief over the killing of 10 people during anti-Sterlite protest in Tuticorin. The state government issued orders appointing retired High Court Justice Aruna Jagadeesan as the single member enquiry commission into the police firing incident.

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