Security tightened around Sterlite plant amid reports of fresh protest by college students

PTI
Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, India Published: Dec 17, 2018, 06:24 PM(IST)

File photo of Sterlite Industries Ltd's copper plant, a unit of London-based Vedanta Resources, in Tuticorin, in Tamil Nadu. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Police personnel from five neighbouring districts of Virudhungar, Dindigul, Sivaganga, Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli have been deployed in the district to meet any situation, police informed.

Security has been tightened around the Sterlite Copper plant following information that attempts were on by some outfits to organise a major protest in the backdrop of the NGT setting aside a Tamil Nadu government order permanently closing it, officials said Monday.

Besides, security was strengthened in other parts of the district as well, including at the Collectorate where many police personnel had been posted, as a precautionary measure in view of the violent protests witnessed in May this year demanding the closure of the plant.

Thirteen people were killed in police firing on May 22-23 after the 99-day long protest by the locals against Sterlite turned violent and government properties came under attack. The protesters were demanding the closure of the plant citing pollution concerns.

While the Tamil Nadu government had on May 28 ordered permanent closure of the plant in the wake of the protests, the National Green Tribunal on Saturday set it aside, allowing an appeal by the Sterlite.

The state government has said it would file an appeal in the Supreme Court against the NGT order even as opposition parties attacked it for "negligent" handling of the issue.

An official Monday said there was information that some religious and political outfits were trying to coordinate and organize major agitation against Sterlite.

Police personnel from five neighbouring districts of Virudhungar, Dindigul, Sivaganga, Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli have been deployed in the district to meet any situation, police informed. Outsiders were being monitored to find if the locals were being instigated, they said.

Meanwhile, a group of students, affiliated to the Democratic Youth Federation and the Students Federation of India, staged a protest in front of a college demanding that a resolution should be passed by the state assembly for continued closure of the Sterlite unit.

A report from Coimbatore said 20 activists of "Makkal Adhikaram", a fringe outfit, were arrested when they attempted to stage a demonstration condemning the NGT order. 

Read in App