The court's ruling came in the backdrop of the agitation launched by the locals and civic activists, alleging "irreparable damage" to ground water resources if Sterlite is given the green nod to double its production. "They should be booked for murder & SP, Collector, DGP & Chief Secretary should be suspended".
The rally, in which thousands of local people participated under the banner of "Anti Sterlite Movement", turned violent with sections of protesters setting fire to vehicles, including those belonging to the police.
Most people stayed indoors as the district administration announced that prohibitory orders banning the assembly of five or more people that were imposed on Monday evening would remain in force till May 25. Sterlite said the facility has been shut since March 27 when the company took up annual scheduled maintenance. Expressing sorrow at the loss of lives, Sterlite in a statement said it has appealed to the government to ensure the safety of employees, facilities and the surrounding communities. Sterlite Copper, which now operates a 400,000-tonne per annum unit in the city, maintains it has received necessary permits and has not violated any norms.
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On Wednesday, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan visited the site and met injured protesters in hospital. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Working President MK Stalin is also likely to visit the city.
On Tuesday, Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami said the police had to resort to firing to control the situation because the protestors indulged in violence.
The turmoil continued on Wednesday as leaders from the Opposition made their way to Tuticorin, also referred to as Thoothukudi, to stage a demonstration against Vedanta Sterlite and the state government.