Vedanta shares drop 6% after Sterlite protests in Tamil Nadu

Smoke billows from burning barricades as agitators march through streets demanding the closure of Vedanta's Sterlite Copper unit in Thoothukudi on Tuesday | PTI

Ongoing protests demanding closure of the Sterlite plant showed no signs of abating, despite calls for calm by the Tamil Nadu government.

11 people were killed and more than 65 injured on Tuesday during protests against the construction of a new copper smelter by the Sterlite industries in Thoothukudi. Environmental activists say the cooper plant is polluting local water resources, allegations the company denied as "false propaganda".

Earlier in the day, additional security was deployed outside the Thoothukudi General Hospital after a bus was set ablaze there by protesters.

Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami defended the police response in a statement, citing "unavoidable circumstances" and blaming the protestors for resorting to "repeated violence".

Local residents have been protesting for months against the plant, which is operated by Sterlite Copper, a subsidiary of London-based Vedanta Resources.

Gandhi tweeted: "The gunning down by the police of nine people in".

Appointing retired Judge Aruna Jagadeesan for the task, the government said she would submit her report to the government.

Police violence in Tuticorin has left at least 10 dead and hundreds injured. A plea for a CBI probe into the matter was also dismissed by the bench.

Just as normalcy is yet to be restored in Thoothukudi district after the police firing which claimed many lives, the State government has directed the service providers to stop internet services for five days from Wednesday till May 27 throughout the districts of Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari, "to prevent spreading of provocative messages with half-truth".

After being chased away from the GH, the mob pelted stones on the police and their vehicles.

Shops and commercial establishments remained shut, educational institutions were also closed.

District Collector N Venkatesh said the prohibitory orders were extended in Vembar, Kulathur, Arumugamangalam, Vedanatham, Ottapidaram and Eppodum Vendran in Thoothukudi district. Tamil Nadu, is a brutal example of state-sponsored terrorism.

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