BENGALURU: Protests condemning the inhuman shooting of anti-Sterlite protesters in Thoothukudi were held at different places in the city on Thursday. Protesters demanded the shutting down of Vedanta and its subsidiaries like Sterlite and the arrest of Anil Agarwal, Vedanta’s founder chairman.While the Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) Karnataka State Committee burned an effigy and held a protest on Thursday morning at Mysuru Bank Circle on Avenue Road, around 60 concerned citizens gathered at the Prestige Meridien office of Vedanta Limited here on MG Road. Protesters on MG Road lit candles in solidarity with the struggle of the people in Thoothukudi and stuck posters on the walls of the Vedanta office. But the management at the Vedanta office was nowhere to be seen.
The protesters were backed by Environment Support Group, Communist Party of India (Marxist- Leninist), People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Greenpeace, Sthree Jagruthi Samiti, Social Democratic Party of India, New Socialist Alternative, Tamizh Makkal Aikyam, Alternative Law Forum, Karnataka Janashakti and several environmental activists and lawyers.
N Ramesh, an activist from the People’s Democratic Forum outlined the main demands of the protesters, “Action should be taken against the people who ordered the firing, CM of Tamil Nadu should resign, Vedanta factory in Thoothukudi should be permanently shut down and Anil Agarwal, the founder-Chairman of Vedanta should be arrested”.
Vinay Sreenivasa, member of Alternative Law Forum, said, “The copper that is smelted at Thoothukudi is marketed through their office here in Bengaluru. Even on Wednesday they were here but the minute they got the wind of the protest, they closed their office and left.”Priya Pillai, an independent environment activist, who was at the protest, said, “On Wednesday when we reached out to Vedanta they said they will be there to talk, but now when we have come here they have shut shop and left.” Hemavathi Shekhar, member of Environment Support Group said, “Corporates are making use of the State to kill people.”