On 28 May, the Tamil Nadu government ordered the closure of the Vedanta-owned Sterlite plant in Tuticorin, six days after 13 people were killed in police firing during protests.
Violence broke out on 22 May, the 100th day that the protesters had gathered in Tuticorin to demand that the plant be closed for causing severe environmental damage and endangering health of residents.
Deputy tehsildar responsible for killings
An FIR revealed that a special deputy tehsildar ordered the police to open fire on peaceful protesters. On his part, special deputy tehsildar Shekhar said he ordered the firing to save lives and properties at the collector’s office.
It went on to add: “2. Under Article 48-A of the Constitution, “the state shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country”. 3. Under sections of (1)(b) of the Water Act , 1974 in the larger public interest, the Government endorse the closure direction of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and also direct the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to seal the unit and close the plant permanently.”
Read more about the protest in tuticorin