Video of Indian police officer pointing rifle at crowds goes viral

Video of Indian police officer pointing rifle at crowds goes viral

Video of Indian police officer pointing rifle at crowds goes viral

Another person has been shot dead during violent protests in south India against a copper plant operated by a British mining giant residents say is polluting the local environment.

Protesters set vehicles on fire and threw stones at police, Palaniswami said in a statement.

The deputy chief minister said even if there were legal challenges in the closure of the plant, it will be faced and the government will take resolute steps to permanently close down the Vedanta group's copper unit in Thoothukudi.

The government of Tamil Nadu, Union ministry of environment, forests and climate change, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and the Tuticorin district administration are squarely responsible for allowing the situation to get to this unfortunate state by allowing Vedanta Sterlite to violate environmental and land use planning laws with impunity for over two decades.

On May 23, the Madras High Court, in an interim order, stayed the expansion of Sterlite Copper's industrial unit.

The state's chief minister, Edappadi K. Palaniswami, said police had been forced to act after the protests turned violent, and that nine people had been killed.

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Plans to double its capacity are also under threat after a local court delivered an interim order staying the expansion until a further hearing, to be held by September 23, Vedanta said Wednesday. He also announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the families of each of those killed, Rs 3 lakh to those seriously injured, and Rs 1 lakh for people who suffered minor injuries.

A curfew remained in pockets of Tuticorin city in Tamil Nadu state where police used live ammunition to disperse protesters this week, provoking global outrage and demands for an immediate investigation.

The protests intensified after Vedanta, owned by an Indian billionaire but with its head office in London, sought to double the 400,000-tonne annual capacity of the plant. The decision to shut down the Sterlite plant and its implications for the industry at large is the topic of discussion on this India Development Debate.

About 20 police officers were also injured in the skirmish, which occurred in the southern port city Tuticorin. Rahul Gandhi, leader of the opposition Indian National Congress party, called the incident "state sponsored terrorism". The company moved the Appellate Authority against this, and the next hearing is on June 6.

Most businesses have remained shut since the violence began. The activists repeatedly voiced environmental concerns, saying that the plant causes serious health problems among local residents. Days later, India's Supreme Court ordered the company to pay damages of 100 crore rupees ($15 million) for environmental rehabilitation measures.

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