New Delhi, May 24: Internet services have been suspended for five days in Thoothukudi from Wednesday 9PM, said ANI. Reports suggest that internet services have been suspended in Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari as well. The measure has been taken to check the spread of false information in view of the escalated violence in the anti-Sterlite protests over the past couple of days. As many as 13 people have lost their lives in the firing by police, reported ANI. While no fresh incidents of violence have been reported, 67 people have been arrested so far for indulging in violence. Also Read - Nirbhaya Case: After Delhi Court, Now NHRC Dismisses Plea Seeking Stay on Execution of Convicts
The DMK has announced a state-wide bandh on Friday in protest against the 13 deaths in police firing. Over 70 people were injured as well. Also Read - Nirbhaya Gangrape Case: President Rejects Pawan Gupta's Mercy Plea. What is Next?
Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government has ordered a probe into the violence and the subsequent police firing in Tuticorin. Aruna Jagadeesan would be heading the inquiry. In a swift action, the Collector of Tuticorin (Thoothukudi) has been transferred; that of Thirunelveli would also take charge of Tuticorin. The SP has also been transferred. Also Read - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok Must Open Offices in Islamabad: Pakistan's New Social Media Rule
On Wednesday, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court had stayed the expansion of Sterlite copper smelter plant. A bench comprising Justice M Sundar and Justice Anitha Sumanth passed the order staying construction of Vedanta’s (formerly Sterlite Industries Limited) second unit in Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu on a petition filed by environmental activist Fathima Babu. The National Human Rights Commission had issued notices to TN chief secretary and the DGP over the killing of 10 people in police firing during the protests. The Union Home Ministry had also sought a report from the state government over the issue.
Anti-Sterlite protests took an ugly turn on Tuesday when the protesters weren’t allowed anywhere near the unit. Angry protesters pelted stones and there were reports of some vehicles being torched at the Collector’s residence. A video clip of a policeman in civilian clothes taking aim with an assault rifle also did the rounds. Reportedly, the clip also carried voices telling the man to ensure that at least one protester was brought down. Expectedly, there has been an uproar over the use of Self Loading Rifles on protesters.