The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday gave appointment orders to some of the relatives of people killed or injured in police firing during protests against the Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi. Thirteen people had died in the police firing in May.

An official statement said Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami handed over a total of 19 appointment letters. He handed over the appointment orders to the relatives of 10 people killed in the firing and those of four people severely injured. The benefit was also extended to five people who were injured.

The beneficiaries will be employed in the state Revenue and Disaster Management and Social Welfare and Nutritious Meal Scheme departments.

Earlier, the state government had sanctioned a sum of Rs 20 lakh each to the families of those killed in the firing and Rs 5 lakh to those who sustained serious injuries.

Thirteen people agitating against the expansion of the smelter were killed in police firing on May 22 and May 23 – prompting the state government to permanently shut down the plant days later. Several people were arrested for rioting, burning vehicles on the collectorate campus, stone pelting and damaging public property. In February too, large-scale protests had broken out in Thoothukudi.