Vol. XLII No. 21 May 27, 2018

PROTEST AGAINST POLLUTION IN TUTIKORIN: CITU Condemns Brutal And Murderous Police Firing

THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions, in a statement issued on May 23, has vehemently condemned the brutal and murderous police firing on people protesting against pollution by a copper smelter plant of M/s Sterlite at Tutikorin, Tamil Nadu killing 12 persons and injuring hundreds.

The people of that region have been agitating since long demanding concrete action by the government to prevent the atmospheric pollution being generated by the Sterlite’s Copper Smelter Plant, creating menacing impact on the lives and health of the people in that region. People are also demanding stoppage of further expansion of the smelter plant which has been under process. The matter was also taken up with judiciary and cases are still reportedly pending for resolution in both the High Court and the Supreme Court.

The agitation by the people on May 22 before the office of the district magistrate was demanding strong regulatory intervention against the extreme unsafe production process in the copper smelter plant as well as disposal of copper waste and also a ban on the proposed expansion plant of the project by Sterlite. It is surprising that the Tamil Nadu administration adopted such easy going trigger-happy measure on the ongoing agitation on such a contentious issue. And the manner in which police opened fire on the people makes it clear that the protesters are being sought to be given a lesson through indiscriminate murderous firing on them, may be at the behest of the corporate master. Many of those killed had bullet injuries on their head and face.

The AIADMK government, a close ally of BJP led NDA combine must explain as to what prompted them to approve the firing order on the protesting people on such a sensitive and vulnerable issue.

CITU demands strong action against those responsible for such murderous brutal act of firing on the protesters. CITU also demands concrete action for preventing atmospheric pollution by the Copper Smelter plant of Sterlite at Tutikorin and not to allow further expansion of the project unless all the contentious issues on pollution are sorted out to the satisfaction of the affected people of that region.

CITU calls upon the working people and their unions to launch protest against such brutal murderous act of the Tamil Nadu administration at the behest of Sterlite/Vedanta group.