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8 Jun 2018

CIVICUS (South Africa)

Environmental protesters in Tamil Nadu Shot Dead

Police fired live ammunition into a crowd of protestors in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu... killing at least 10 people.  One more person died after being hit by a rubber bullet on Wednesday 23rd... A report in The Hindu newspaper on 25th May claimed that at least eight of those killed had been deliberately targetted by police as organisers of the protest, with some, including a 17-year-old girl, shot at close range. The shooting happened on the 100th day of protests against the Sterlite Copper plant, which locals accuse of polluting the air and water supply. The plant... is currently seeking to expand its capacity despite the strong opposition from local activists. Following the latest clashes, the government shut down the Sterlite plant, which had not been operational for two months because of compliance problems with environmental regulations. Indian human rights activists spoke out and protested against the killings, resulting in a large number of detentions, including that of Henri Tiphagne, director of local civil society organisation People's Watch. Tiphagne and others were released later on 24th May. Sterlite Copper is owned by Vedanta, a mining and minerals conglomerate, which has operations across India and several other countries.