People protesting against Sterlite plant arrested

By PTI Published on Feb 14, 2018 11:22 AM IST

File photo of Sterlite plant at Thoothukudi.

Thoothukudi: Around 250 people on an indefinite fast, protesting against Sterlite Copper's plant here and its proposed expansion, have been arrested, the police said.

The protesters from nearby Reddiarpuram village, near here, launched the fast Monday, alleging that the plant, part of the Vedanta Group, was polluting groundwater in their area. As the villagers continued their fast despite efforts by top district officials, led by Sub-Collector M S Prasanth to persuade them to give up the stir, the police arrested them yesterday.

Earlier, a protester alleged the plant, located in the SIPCOT Industrial Complex, was affecting their water sources and caused air pollution. "We are having breathing problem. We are forced to observe fast as the district administration did not take any action," he told the officials.

He said the people of the village had petitioned the Collector several times seeking closure of the unit, but no action had been taken. The people were unhappy with the proposed expansion of the plant and voiced the concern that it would further affect the environment. They not only wanted the expansion to be stopped, but the plant itself to be closed.

Some schoolchildren in uniform were also present at the fast venue while DMK district unit secretary Geetha Jeevan joined the agitation yesterday.