Scope of Thoothukudi probe commission widened

Chennai: The Tamilnadu government has widened the scope of the  commission of inquiry into the police firing in Thoothukudi 22 May during the anti-Sterlite protests by bringing subsequent violent incidents also under its purview.

Violent incidents subsequent to the police firing on May 22 would come under the ambit of the Justice Aruna Jagadeesan-led Commission of Inquiry,

According to a government order issued yesterday. The Terms of Reference (ToR) of the inquiry, originally, was to probe the "causes and circumstances" leading to the opening of fire resulting in death and injuries to persons on 22 May at Thoothukudi and damage to public and private properties.

Now, following an amendment to the ToR, the commission will also look into "subsequent events (after 22 May) at Thoothukudi and nearby areas including damage to public and private properties".

The public and victims can furnish facts and information known to them either directly or through authorised persons to the commission on or before 27 July, an official release said yesterday.

Twelve people were killed in the police firing on 22 May when the protest demanding closure of Sterlite's copper smelter unit in the town turned violent. One more person died the next day, in police firing following fresh clashes between security personnel and the protesters.

The government had 23 May notified setting up of the commission.

The violence began with a "siege of the district collectorate" protest 22 May seeking permanent closure of the copper plant over alleged pollution issues.

Scores of people, including police personnel, were injured in the violence and over 200 cases had been registered by the police. More than 100 people had been arrested, many of whom later got bail. After the violence, the government ordered closure of the plant and the unit has now moved the National Green Tribunal against it.


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