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5 Dec 2018

Dharani Thangavelu, Live Mint, India

India: Residents wary of midnight police raids connected to protest against Vedanta's copper smelting plant

"Residents wary of midnight police raids in Thoothukudi", 18 June 2018

...The people of Thoothukudi, where protests against Vedanta’s Sterlite Industries Ltd turned violent and 13 people were killed in police firing on 22 and 23 May, have been raising concerns over the midnight searches by the police over the last few weeks...

[The Superintendent of Police (SP)] said the police were arresting only those who were involved in rioting and arson on 22 and 23 May...A total of 248 people have been arrested so far...

[In June], six members of the Makkal Adhikaram [People's Power] organization were booked under the National Security Act. Terming the detentions as illegal, [the] executive director of People’s Watch, said that he has visited Geneva with his team to submit a report to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the UN Human Rights.

While hearing a plea regarding the illegal custody of those who protested against Sterlite, [earlier in June], the Madurai bench of the Madras high court had directed the police to refrain from harassing those remanded for inquiry or their family members. Meanwhile...the Thoothukudi district collector...said following a report that there has been leakage in the stored containers kept inside the Sterlite Industries, a team of government officials...inspected the plant and have detected Sulphuric acid leak...