Protests against Vedanta plant turns violent, 1 killed in

Government property was damaged in the protest

They started hurling stones at the police and also overturned a vehicle after which the police lobbed teargas shells to disperse them, they said. Police units have been rushed from Madurai and Virudhunagar to bring the situation under control.

According to a police officer on the spot, police swung into action when the protesters torched some vehicles in the area.

Condemning the state government for the agitation and also police action that killed on protester, DMK working president MK Stalin said that the police was committing atrocities.

D Jayakumar, a state minister, said in a televised address that police had fired on protesters and that it was "unavoidable".

Protesters set vehicles on fire and threw stones at police, prompting the police to open fire.

With the protests against Sterlite Copper in Tuticorin on Tuesday turning violent when thousands of protestors marched towards the district collectorate, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami convened an emergency meeting at the state secretariat with top officials to take stock of the situation.

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The government underlining its pro-people commitment in the Sterlite issue, assured them further legal action would be taken, "respecting" their feelings.

Police said section 144 of CrPc has been invoked in and around the Sterlite unit to provide security to it as per the orders of the Madras High Court, reported The Times of India. The police reportedly resorted to lathi charge, and the use of tear gas and water cannons to disburse a furious crowd.

Almost 3000 police personnel have been deployed under four Additional Superintendents of Police and 13 Dy SPs to bring the situation under control, official sources said. The police high-handedness has become the marked response of elected governments to the people's protests against massive projects as witnessed in Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district and elsewhere in the country. The protesters are demanding a ban on Sterlite Industries raising as they create a lot of pollution wake of the pollution created by them. Though the plant was ordered to shut down following allegations of violating pollution control norms, the National Green Tribunal had ultimately allowed it to be reopened.

The latest protest turned violent as a crowd waving black flags stormed the district government headquarters and an apartment block for Vedanta employees, a company official said, declining to be named for fear of being targeted. They have always been dying, first because of the plant now because of the government's attitude.

Some activists have said that the plant is posing a grave danger to the residents of the area as reports have suggested that throat and eye cancer cases have gone up in the area. "They are the ones who lose their lives", Mr Haasan, who had earlier participated in the peaceful protests against the plant, said.

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