13 protesters against copper plant in India killed after police open fire

Shinde, Mrinalini; Bokil, Ameya
Date Written:  2018-05-25
Publisher:  The Ecologist
Year Published:  2018
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX22938

Public protests at the copper smelter plant of Sterlite Industries in the town of Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu, India, were met with police fire during the last two days, with 13 protesters killed and and hundreds injured.



Protests against the Sterlite copper plant have been continuing for two decades after the plant was set up in 1998 - as this summary shows - and in the last few days police shooting has resulted in more than 13 deaths.

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered demanding the plant be shut down in March 2018, campaigning against the contamination of local water sources, leading to shops shutting in solidarity, and diaspora protests outside the offices of Vedanta in London.

The violence by the police erupted on the 100th day of the protests. The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has defended the police firing, tweeting "[w]hen someone hits you, you naturally tend to defend yourselves".

Environmental pollution

The district of Thoothukudi is reeling from the tragedy, combined with the consequences of the environmental pollution from the plant. The state government on Wednesday ordered the suspension of all internet services in Thoothukudi and two adjoining districts for five days. Yesterday morning, the provincial Pollution Control Board finally ordered the closure of the plant, by cutting off its supply of electricity.

The following timeline of events details the number of judicial fora and agencies involved in the proceedings involving the Sterlite plant, before the ill-fated protests of the past week.

Subject Headings

Insert T_CxShareButtonsHorizontal.html here