Anti-Sterlite protest: PIL in SC seeks action against police officials, NHRC probe

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NEW DELHI, May 24: A Tamil Nadu-based advocate has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court seeking action against the erring police officials and a probe by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in connection with the death of protesters during anti-Sterlite protests in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi.
According to reports, the PIL has been filed by advocate GS Mani, who sought a direction from the court for registering an FIR against the Collector, SP and other police officials in connection with the deaths linked to the anti-Sterlite protests.
The petition also seeks compensation of Rs 50 lakh for the kith and kin of the deceased and Rs 25 lakh for those injured during police firing.
The petition also called for restoring the internet services in Tuticorin, Kanyakumari and other affected districts of Tamil Nadu in the aftermath of the incident.
Similarly, a petition has also been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking its direction to NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) to visit the location and conduct a separate inquiry into the violence, instead of asking for a report from state police and chief secretary of the state.
The court is likely to hear the petition on Friday.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that his Ministry had taken cognisance of killing of 12 protesters in police firing in Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu and sought a report from the state on the incident and the prevailing situation.
The Union Home Minister also condoled the loss of lives of people protesting against a copper smelting plant in Thoothukudi and appealed to the people there to maintain peace.
“I am deeply pained at the loss of precious lives during the agitation at Thoothukudi. The MHA has taken cognizance and sought a report from the state on the prevailing situation. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. I also pray for the speedy recovery of the injured. I appeal to the people there to remain calm and maintain peace and tranquillity in the region,” Rajnath Singh said.
A statement issued by the MHA said that it was in touch with the Tamil Nadu government on violence in Thoothukudi and a detailed report had been sought on the sequence of events and circumstances leading to the loss of lives on Tuesday.
“Tamil Nadu has been requested to furnish a detailed report on the Sterilite Copper smelting plant and asked to provide details of the action taken to restore peace and normalcy.”
The Thoothukudi protests turned violent when police fired at thousands of protesters demanding the closure of the Vedanta Group-run Sterlite Industries for polluting the area and leading to severe health problems for area residents, besides depleting groundwater table. (ZeeNews)