CHENNAI: The killing of 14 anti-Sterlite protesters in police firing at Thoothukudi echoed in the United Nations with UN Human Rights experts condemning the use of lethal force against agitators who were demanding closure of the copper smelter plant due to health and environmental concerns.
Expressing concern over the apparent “disproportionate and excessive” use of force, including use of live ammunition, against protesters demanding legitimate human rights and environmental concerns, United Nation Human Rights experts, in a statement in the website, called on Indian authorities to carry out an independent and transparent investigation, without delay, and to ensure that perpetrators of violations be held accountable.
Urging the Government of India to take all necessary measures to ensure that all business enterprises respect national as well as international human rights and environmental norms, the experts said Sterlite Copper’s smelting plant should resume operations only after meaningful consultations with affected communities and fully comply with environmental laws.
Hitting out at Sterlite Copper as well as its parent company, Vedanta Resources, the experts said that local and national judicial and administrative bodies have documented water contamination, air pollution and other forms of environmental degradation linked to the copper smelting plant and related activities.
“Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, all business enterprises have a responsibility to respect human rights,” the experts said, calling on Sterlite Copper as well as its parent company, Vedanta Resources, to take immediate measures to mitigate pollution and to ensure access to safe water and health care.
Vaiko condmens ‘illegal arrest’ of team
Chennai: Condemning the ‘illegal arrest’ of eight members of Puratchikara Ilaignar Munnani by Thoothukudi police when they were involved in fact-finding activities among the victims of police firing on anti-Sterlite protesters, MDMK general secretary Vaiko has demanded their immediate release. In a press release, he said the eight went to Thoothukudi for getting ground level information regarding the police action. They were illegally arrested on Thursday night and detained at a