Dying anti-Sterlite protestor told to 'stop acting' by policeman

Indian police kill 12 in protest over copper plant

Last week, 13 were killed after police opened fire on protesters demanding that the smelter in the port city of Thoothukudi be shut down.

The violence came amid months of protests against the Sterlite copper smelting plant in the town of Tuticorin, which demonstrators say has polluted the area's groundwater and put local fisheries at risk.

Ten people were shot dead and about 80 wounded by police after crowds set fire to cars and pelted officers with stones on Tuesday.

Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said in Chennai that the state government has made a decision to shut the plant based on the request of the people who have strongly opposed it.

"Under sections of (1)(b) of the Water Act, 1974 in the larger public interest, the Government endorse the closure direction of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and also direct the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to seal the unit and close the plant permanently".

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"Closure of Sterlite Copper plant is an unfortunate development, especially since, we have operated the plant for over 22 years in most transparent and sustainable way, contributing to the Thoothukudi and state's socio-economic development".

The Tamil Nadu government said that the police had to take action "under unavoidable circumstances" to bring the violence under control.

Two more people died on Wednesday, and the state government has transferred senior police and administrative officials from the city.

The Madras high court on Wednesday, however, ordered a stay on the expansion and directed that a public hearing be held. "Therefore, we demand that the chief minister and the DGP resign immediately", Stalin said, reported ANI.

Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal often talks about his dream to turn his London-listed company Vedanta Resources into a global resources giant.

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The plant, about 375 miles (600km) south of Tamil Nadu's state capital Chennai, is now shut as the company awaits a licence to expand the site.

The residents of Thoothukudi have been demanding the closure of the Sterlite Copper Smelter for the past 100 days and had chose to take out a march before the Tuticorin District Collectorate on Tuesday. Rahul Gandhi, leader of the opposition Indian National Congress party, called the incident "state sponsored terrorism".

Activists have criticised the police for firing live rounds at the protesters. Palaniswami also assured government jobs for one family member of each of those who lost their lives in accordance with their qualifications. The company has appealed to government and authorities to ensure safety of our employees, facilities, and surrounding communities.

Several cases have been filed against the plant since it started in 1996, and India's top court in 2013 fined it about $18 million for breaking environmental laws.

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