Death toll in Sterlite protest rises to 11; Retired judge to inquire into Thoothukudi police shoot-out

With the situation still tense, Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami has defended the police saying the cops resorted to firing only because the protestors started torching vehicles and pelting stones.

Published: 22nd May 2018 12:25 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd May 2018 06:56 PM   |  A+A-

The Sterlite protest in Thoothukudi took a violent turn after local cops opened fire against protestors leading to the death of five protestors. (EPS)

The Sterlite protest in Thoothukudi took a violent turn after local cops opened fire against protestors leading to the death of five protestors. (EPS)

By Online Desk

THOOTHUKUDI: At least 11 people, including two women and a teenager, were killed and 20 others grievously injured after police reportedly opened fire multiple times against anti-Sterlite protesters in Thoothukudi on Tuesday, the 100th day of protests demanding the Sterlite Copper plant in the district be shut.

READ | Sterlite Protest Day 2 UPDATES: One killed, four injured in fresh police firing in Thoothukudi; Madras High Court steps in

Another 100 people are believed injured during clashes between police and protesters, with official estimates claiming that 20,000 people took to the streets.

IN PICTURES | Thoothukudi Sterlite protest turns violent

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami defended the actions of the police saying that the cops resorted to firing only because the protests had turned violent. He further ordered a retired judge to probe into the incident.

Sterlite Protest UPDATES: 

  • At least 11 people were killed and 20 others grievously injured after police reportedly opened fire multiple times against anti-Sterlite protesters

    The clash betweent the anti-sterlite protesters and the police killed as many as 11 people including three women and a minor (EPS | Karthik Alagu)

  • Tamil Nadu Government says Tuticorin police were forced to open fire on protestors

    Thousands marched towards the Thoothukudi district collectorate, despite the imposition of section 144. (EPS | Karthik Alagu)
  • Protests held in Chennai against the police shoot-out, which has left 10 dead so far, during Sterlite protest in Thoothukudi.

Protestors at Chepauk burning effigy of Sterlite owner. (EPS | D Sampath Kumar)
  • DMK working president MK Stalin demands an inquiry commission headed by a sitting High Court judge to probe the Thoothukudi killings. He further urges the government to provide Rs 1 crore for each of the deceased's family.

  • Palaniswami says a retired judge would inquire into the Thoothukudi police shoot-out.

  • Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi Palaniswami announces a solatium of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of those killed in Thoothukudi Sterlite police shoot-out. One person each from the victims' families will get government employment. Those who were injured will be given Rs 3 lakh for serious injuries and Rs 1 lakh for minor injuries.

WATCH VIDEO: Mob, police clash during Sterlite protest in Thoothukudi

  • Most of the bullet wounds on the deceased were above the abdomen.

  • Out of the ten deceased, nine persons have been identified. Their names are as follows,

    1. Jayaram

    2. Glastin

    3. Kandhaiyya

    4. Tamilarasan 

    5. Shanmugham

    6. Antony Selvaraj 

    7. Maniraj

    8. Venista

    9. Vinitha

  • Death toll rises to ten, including three women, in police firing during the Sterlite protest. More than 65 reported injured, including 12 who are seriously injured. The toll is updated as of 5:00 pm.

  • Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi Palaniswami says, "Around 20,000 people marched towards Sterlite plant in Thoothukudi and torched police vehicles and vehicles parked inside collectorate. They also pelted stones on collectorate. Since the protestors indulged in violence, the police had to resort to firing to bring the situation under control."

  • Death toll rises to eight in police firing during the Sterlite protest. The toll is updated as of 3:30 pm.

  • Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam condemns Thoothukudi shooting - "The protests against the Sterlite plant were taken lightly by the Tamil Nadu government and that attitude is the reason for today's unfortunate events. The citizens are not criminals. They have always been dying, first because of the plant now because of the government's attitude. Everyone please stay calm," the party said in a press release.

  • 12 protestors (including women) seriously injured, all of whom have been taken to a nearby hospital.

An injured protestor being taken to a nearby hospital. (Karthik Alagu | EPS)
  • As the mob refused to disperse the cops used tear gas to disperse the protestors near Sterlite employees residential quarters

  • Two police jeeps were set on fire and more than 10 police vehicles damaged in the violence 

  • In retaliation, angry protestors set Thoothukudi Collector office premises and the quarters of Sterlite employees on fire. 

  • Law and Order ADGP was rushed to Thoothukudi in addition to the battalions from Manimuthaaru and Madurai being called in to control the situation.

  • The police reportedly opened firing again at 12.50 p.m. As the entire situation unfolded the mob manhandled a freelance photographer's camera and snatched the memory card.

  • Owing to the Anti-Sterlite campaigners' call for a massive protest against the operations of copper smelter here, several hundreds of protesters rallied to the collectorate campus here on Tuesday. Most shops in Thoothukudi town had downed their shutters accepting the strike call given by Thoothukudi town central traders association. 

  • District collector N Venkatesh issued prohibitory order section 144 in view of the scheduled protest, while granting permission to protest only at the SAV ground near Thoothukudi old bus stand.

  • Paying no heed to the imposition, the public started gathering at Madathur, St Lady of snows church and other conjunctions to march towards collectorate demanding to stop operation of the copper smelter.
Mob, police clash in Thoothukudi. (EPS)
  • Over 4,000 police personnel from the nearby district have been deployed to prevent crowding proved futile, as the protesters at various areas breached the barricades and marched forward towards the collectorate. 

  • At Madathur, police had to resort to a mild lathicharge at Madathur to disperse the public gathering. The protesters gheraoed police vehicle at VVD signal while on their way to collectorate. 

  • A large number of protesters marched towards collectorate, the police hurled tear gas in order to bring the situation under control. A section of protesters managed to sneak into collectorate. However, police resorted to lathi charge to drive them away, said sources.


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  • Kathir

    No Politician and Celebrity wounded/Died. This is called Politics behind the screen.
    4 years ago reply
  • Kathir

    very unfortunate
    4 years ago reply
  • Pavan kumar

    State sponsored capitalistic atrocity.. condolence to victims family.
    4 years ago reply
  • Basheer

    Nothing is going to change. We are the people who voted for these spineless
    4 years ago reply
  • Sayin

    Why don't the press can publish the information about the cops who indulged in this massacre(riffle carrying cops on van) so that appealing in court for justice by innocent citizens will be made easier
    4 years ago reply
  • Tony Bridge

    Why not Anil Agarwal taken into custody . I am aware of the copper smelter operation
    4 years ago reply
    • Mf

      Because he owns Vedanta which is one of biggest funder of the BjP
      4 years ago reply
  • Pandian

    police and govt may be planned to kill people or some mastermind who wants to make problem in tamilnadu might have carried out this atrocities
    4 years ago reply
  • Ramani

    Is it the government ask to protest?how the government become responsible?only the greedy
    4 years ago reply
    • Amalesh.p from chennai...

      If the police killed one of your family members... will you react the the govt wasn't responsible for this brutal event... Did they took any action against the police man who murdered 11 innocent peoples life... he is safe and secures in govt guest house... Giving 10 lakhs to each family will spare their loved once life??? how can you give a statement that govt is not responsible and only the greedy...
      4 years ago reply
  • Abdul

    Very unfortunate event
    4 years ago reply
  • surya

    I have one question
    4 years ago reply
  • John J J

    It is highly barbaric to kill innocent protesters who are fighting for the cause of a pollution free atmosphere. Every citizen has the right. If the right is denied
    4 years ago reply
  • Somasundaram Kumarappan

    how long will indian govts be stooges of multi national corporates and kill thier own people. shame on the indian and tamil nadu govt.
    4 years ago reply
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