NHRC issues notice to TN Govt over Sterlite protest

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The locals are up in arms against the construction of the copper plant, claiming that it would pollute groundwater in their area and cause serious environmental hazards. They also set fire to a police bus and a van. Tuesday marked day 100 of the protests against the Sterlite plant, with the agitation having begun in February.

The people who died are just ordinary people who were forced to take to the streets, and march to the collectorate to demand action from an administration that has systematically and for decades failed to enforce the law on Sterlite.

The NHRC notice comes even as the Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday appointed a one-person Commission of Inquiry headed by a retired judge of the Madras High Court to probe the violence.

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". Aruna was part of the bench that gave a clean chit to the police in February 2015, for alleged fake encounters in Velachery that killed five men suspected of bank robbery.

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Women shout slogans during a protest against the government and police forces after at least nine people were killed when police fired at protesters calling for the closure of a Vedanta Resources-controlled copper smelter in Thootukudi, in southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, in Chennai, India, May 22, 2018.

Normal life in the town was virtually crippled on Wednesday, with shops and commercial establishments not opening for business.

The prohibitory orders were extended in Thoothukudi district's Arumugamangalam, Vembar, Kulathur, Ottapidaram, Vedanatham, and Eppodum Vendran, said District Collector N Venkatesh.

Shops and commercial establishments remained shut, educational institutions were also closed. Tamil Nadu, is a brutal example of state-sponsored terrorism.

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