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Protester dead in second day of south India clashes

Protester dead in second day of south India clashes

The protestors had been demanding a halt in construction and had blamed it for pollution in the area.

An agitation against the plant started 100 days ago and took a violent turn on Tuesday in Thoothukudi, which was formerly known as Tuticorin, after protesters learnt of a plan by Sterlite Copper, a subsidiary of metals and mining conglomerate Vedanta Resources, to double capacity at the smelter to 800,000 tonnes per year.

The Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the Vedanta group to stop construction of second unit of the Sterlite copper smelter plant in Tamil Nadu's Thoothukudi district. The day before at least ten people were killed by police during a mass demonstration against the plant.

Amid severe outrage across the state over the killing of 11 protesters against Sterlite Copper run by Vedanta in Tamil Nadu's Thoothukudi, the Ministry of Home Affairs has asked the state government for a report on the incident.

The High Court also directed the Centre to hold public hearing before granting environment clearance within 4 months to Sterlite plant.

Residents of the city and activists say emissions from the smelter are polluting the air and the water, affecting the health of residents and pose a risk to fisheries.




The plant has been closed since March, when it shut for maintenance, but it has since been denied an operating license over failure to observe environmental regulations, Reuters reported.

The incident saw severe protests outside the General Hosoital in Thoothukudi where the people who were injured were admitted.

Tweeting in Tamil, Rahul extended his support to the protesters and said that (PM) Modi's bullet can not crush them. Nine people died nearly instantly in police firing. Expressing sorrow at the loss of lives, Sterlite in a statement said it has appealed to the government to ensure the safety of employees, facilities and the surrounding communities.

India consumes close to 1.5 million tonnes of copper a year, of which nearly 50 percent in imported into the country.

Shares were down 3.2 percent as of 0500 GMT, after falling as much as 5.50 percent earlier in the session. Vedanta and Hindalco provide nearly all of the rest between them.

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