Thoothukudi firing: HC seeks explanation from TN govt

The Madurai Bench of the Madras high court today sought explanation from the Tamil Nadu government asking it under what condition/ situation the order to shoot during the anti-Sterlite protest in Thoothukudi was passed.

The court questioned the government whether the rules for firing were followed before the shooting and asked them to submit a reply by 6 June.

On May 22, police opened fire on protesters agitating against the expansion of the Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi, Tuticorin, killing 13 people, including two women. The protestors were demanding the closure of Sterlite Copper plant over pollution concerns.

A day after the incident, the National Human Rights Commission took cognizance of the matter and issued a notice to Tamil Naduchief secretary and police chief asking them to send a detailed report in the matter within two weeks.

Meanwhile, human rights experts from the United Nations have condemned the apparent disproportionate use of force by the police against protesters in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi, over health and environmental concerns arising out of the copper smelting plant, which led to the death of 13 people.

A statement said: We are extremely concerned by the apparent disproportionate and excessive use of force, including the use of live ammunition, against protesters marching to raise legitimate human rights and environmental concerns.

We call on the Indian authorities to carry out an independent and transparent investigation, without delay, and to ensure that perpetrators of human rights violations be held accountable, it added.