Anti-Sterlite protest: Thoothukudi Collector, SP transferred

Thoothukudi (Tamil Nadu) [India], May 23 (ANI): In the wake of the ongoing violence in Thoothukudi's Anna Nagar as part of the anti-Sterlite protests here, the Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday transferred the district's collector, N. Venkatesh, and superintendent of police P. Mahendran. One person was killed and three other got injured on Wednesday as fresh violence broke out in Anna Nagar, thus taking the death toll to 12. Sandeep Nanduri has been appointed as the new collector of Thoothukudi district. Murali Rambha, meanwhile, will take over Mahendran as the new superintendent of police of the district. Earlier today, additional security was deployed outside the Thoothukudi General Hospital after a bus was set ablaze there by protesters. On Tuesday, 11 people were killed and over 65 got injured during protests against the construction of a new copper smelter by the Sterlite industries in Thoothukudi. The agitation turned violent after protesters were barred from marching up to the plant, due to which they began to pelt stones and toppled police vehicles. In retaliation, police officials resorted to lathi-charge and tear gas to disperse the crowd to contain the situation. Later on, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh for the kin of the deceased, Rs 3 lakh for the severely injured and Rs 1 lakh for those who sustained minor injuries. Palaniswami also announced government jobs for the family of the deceased. Meanwhile, a commission headed by a retired High Court judge has been constituted to probe the incident. The locals are up in arms against the construction of the copper plant, claiming that it would pollute groundwater in their area and cause serious environmental hazards. (ANI)
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