The collector of Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district, Sandeep Nandoor, on Thursday transferred two of the three officials who had reportedly ordered the police to fire at protestors on May 22 and May 23, PTI reported. Thirteen people agitating against the expansion of the Vedanta Group’s Sterlite Copper plant in the coastal city were killed in the firing.

Deputy tehsildar M Kannan has been transferred to the town of Kayathaaru while his colleague P Sekar will be a sub-tehsildar in the town of Thiruvaikundam. The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday issued notices to Kannan, Sekar and another deputy tehsildar called Chandran, and asked them to respond to the charges against them.

Sekar, Kannan and Chandran have blamed the protestors for being violent and claimed that this forced them to issue the orders to open fire. In his First Information Report, Sekar alleged that the protestors had hurled petrol bombs, burnt vehicles and attacked security personnel with an “intention to murder”. He claimed 10,000 protestors had marched to the collectorate with “deadly weapons”.