Anti-Sterlite protests: HC seeks video, documents prior to firing incident

The Madras High Court has asked the Tamil Nadu government to submit video recordings, documents and reports pertaining to protests against the Sterlite Copper smelter plant in Tuticorin, which saw violence and firing in the town on the 100th day of the stir.

Thirteen people were killed in police firing on May 22 and 23 when violence broke out during the protest by locals, demanding closure of the Sterlite plant (a unit of Vedanta Limited) over pollution issues.

A division bench comprising justices CT Selvam and AM Basheer Ahmed also sought details of the intelligence report on the agitation, and directed the state government to submit the same on July 18.

The judges were hearing a PIL filed by AWD Tilak, a Tuticorin-based advocate, who sought a copy of the order issued to invoke Section 144 of CrPC that was clamped in parts of the town during the anti-Sterlite agitation.

The petitioner submitted that prohibitory orders had been clamped in the jurisdiction of SIPCOT and Tuticorin South Police Station limits only.

The protest was peaceful for 99 days, he submitted.

The petitioner also questioned why some people attached to certain outfits were not invited to the peace committee meeting.

The district Collector was not in town during the crisis, he claimed.

Multiple cases had been filed against individuals, the petitioner alleged.