Tamil Nadu Orders Permanent Closure Of Sterlite Copper Plant In Thoothukudi

Tamil Nadu Orders Permanent Closure Of Sterlite Copper Plant In Thoothukudi

Tamil Nadu Orders Permanent Closure Of Sterlite Copper Plant In Thoothukudi

According to police and government, the protesters pelted stones at the policemen and also set their vehicles on fire.

Sterlite is likely to challenge the order in the court as it has already announced its plan to move the court against the TNPCB order dated May 23.

The protests have intensified after Vedanta, owned by an Indian billionaire but with its head office in London, sought to expand the plant. Back in 2013 locals said they suffered from nausea and throat infections from alleged gas leaks at the plant.

The order by the Division Bench of Justice M Sundar and Justice Anitha Sumanth directed Vedanta to cease construction and other activities on-site at the proposed Unit-II of the copper smelting plant with immediate effect. This led to series of violence, said cops.

"Mass Murder of Innocent People", he tweeted Wednesday.

State Minister D. Jayakumar said in a televised address that it had been "unavoidable" for police to fire on protesters. "Why were automatic weapons used to disperse the crowd and under what law is this permitted?" Rahul Gandhi, leader of the opposition Indian National Congress party, called the incident "state sponsored terrorism".

The copper smelter may not restart for at least 12 months and the closure may shave about $200 million-$250 million from pre-tax earnings, said Vishal Kulkarni, a Singapore-based analyst at S&P Global Ratings.

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Panneerselvam also visited the district collectorate which had borne the burnt of the violence on 22 May and held discussions with district officials.

Several investment bankers said that Vedanta's management did have a strong reputation for turning around businesses and keeping costs under control. "The postmortem on the bodies is being conducted and they will be handed over to families today".

Environmentalists and locals allege the plant is contaminating water resources, a charge denied by the company.

Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has ordered a judicial inquiry into the shootings but defended the police response. The bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and MM Shantanagoudar said the petition will come up in due course in July after the summer vacation. The company has appealed to government and authorities to ensure safety of our employees, facilities, and surrounding communities.

Tamil Nadu is one of India's most prosperous and industrialised states but, as elsewhere in the country, environmental regulations are routinely breached and poorly policed.

"People have been protesting this plant for over 20 years, and it is unfortunate that the issue has got the attention it deserves because of the killings", said Ritwick Dutta, an environmental lawyer who has fought a case against Sterlite in the Supreme Court.

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