PIL in Madras High Court seeks probe into Police firing in Sterlite protest

PIL in Madras High Court seeks probe into Police firing in Sterlite protest

Shruti Mahajan

A Public Interest Litigation petition has been filed in Madras High Court by three lawyers seeking a probe into the Police firing on people protesting against Sterlite Copper Plant of Vedanta in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) yesterday.

The petition has been filed by advocates S Jimraj Milton, D Paarventhan, and Paaventhen.

A Bench of Justices P Velmurugan and T Ravindran today ordered that the dead bodies of those killed in the firing, be preserved until further notice. The Court also allowed lawyers to render legal assistance to victims as per the law.

The protest against the Sterlite Copper Smelter plant in Tuticorin took a violent turn yesterday when the Tamil Nadu Police opened fire on unarmed protestors. Eleven people were killed in this firing.

This prompted the lawyers to file the current PIL.

The petition states that instead of employing amicable methods to solve the issue, the State machinery resorted to “conspiracy method”. The petition alleges that the unrest was created by State actors dressed in civilian clothes following which the Police opened fire.

The petitioners have prayed for setting up a team of private doctors to conduct the autopsy of the bodies of those killed in the firing and for the procedure to be video recorded.

Additionally, the petitioners have made the following prayers:

  • injunction against the State machinery from taking any action in their official capacity as regards protesters in Tuticorin.
  • order the release of all those protesters arrested or illegally detained while carrying out demonstrations against Sterlite.
  • injunction against Police from preventing any lawyers from providing legal assistance to the “People’s struggle”.

The matter will be heard next on May 30.

Read petition:

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