Tamil Nadu authorities on Sunday lifted the prohibitory orders imposed under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code following the violent protests and police firing in Thoothukudi that claimed 13 lives, ANI reported. Officials restored internet services that were also suspended in several parts of the state.
Thoothukudi District Collector Sandeep Nanduri said normalcy had been restored in the district. “We have not noticed any unusual incident in the city in last 24 hours,” said Nanduri. “However, we have come across some incidents in the rural areas and we are reviewing the situations.”
Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami announced that financial aid to the families of the deceased would be increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh, The Times of India reported. On Monday, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and state minister D Jayakumar visited the collector’s office where protestors had torched vehicles, ANI reported.
Director General of Police TK Rajendran had described the incident as “unfortunate and painful”. Rajendran said action would be taken after High Court Judge Aruna Jagadeesan submits a Commission of Inquiry report on the matter. The director general of police visited the injured at the Thoothukudi Medical College Hospital on Sunday evening.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to give an urgent hearing to a plea filed against the alleged police atrocities. The court said it would hear the matter after the vacation.
‘Modi’s silence shameful’
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam working president MK Stalin on Monday took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over “his silence on the matter”. “Such a big incident has taken place,” The News Minute quoted Stalin as saying. “Tamil Nadu is inside India only. Modi is India’s prime minister… Or is he some foreign country’s prime minister? The right thing to do would have been for Modi himself to come. Or he should have sent a central minister.” He added that the prime minister’s silence was “shameful”.
The Congress had also questioned Modi’s silence on the deaths.
The Sterlite copper smelter
For more than two decades, activists in Thoothukudi have accused Sterlite of contaminating the region’s air and water resources, causing breathing disorders, skin diseases, heart conditions and cancer. Since February, there have been protests in Thoothukudi where Sterlite runs a copper smelter with the capacity to produce 4.38 lakh tonnes of copper anodes per annum, or 1,200 tonnes per day.
The Tamil Nadu government had said that it was considering permanently shutting down Sterlite.