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India: High Court orders inquiry into police firing on anti-Sterlite protest

"Madras HC orders CBI inquiry into police firing on anti-Sterlite protest", 14 August 2018

The Madras high court’s Madurai bench on Tuesday [14 August] ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the police firing on the anti-Sterlite protesters in Thoothukudi on May 22 that left 13 persons dead and scores injured.

The bench...transferred all cases pertaining to the police firing to the CBI, while also quashing the detention of six members of Makkal Adhikaram [People's Power]...under the National Security Act (NSA) for allegedly instigating violence. The bench also transferred all the anti-Sterlite violence cases to the agency, ordering it to carry out a fresh probe.

The copper smelter plant owned by mining major Vedanta Ltd in Thoothukodi hit the headlines following daily protests for 100 days against its planned expansion. On May 22, a massive protest was held by the local residents which triggered a major violence, leading the police to open fire...

Early this month, the court also quashed the NSA invoked against [lawyer] Hari Raghavan who had appeared for the protesters. The Court also summoned the Thoothukudi district collector Sandeep Nanduri and directed him not to register cases against villagers who protested against the Sterlite plant...

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