The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday moved the Supreme Court requesting it to not pass any order in connection with the Sterlite plant in Thoothukudi without hearing the state’s arguments on the same, ANI reported. The state file its caveat two days after it ordered the Vedanta-run plant to shut down operations permanently.
Thirteen people were killed in police firing in the district after protests against the Vedanta Group’s plant took a violent turn.
Two public interest litigations were filed in the top court last week, the Hindustan Times reported. One petition sought the registration of a criminal case against the Thoothukudi district collector, superintendent of police and other senior police officials for their alleged role that led to the deaths during the protests.
The second petition requested that a status report be filed on compliance with the National Human Rights Commission’s guidelines on registering data on the deaths during the protest. The petitioner, social activist P Shiv Kumar, also asked for a status report on measures taken by Sterlite Copper to remove the copper sludge emitted by the plant, the newspaper reported.
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 large-scale protests in Thoothukudi, where the Sterlite runs the copper smelter with the capacity to produce 4.38 lakh tonnes of anodes per annum, or 1,200 tonnes per day.