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India: Central Bureau of Investigation starts inquiry into Sterlite/Vedanta protests and police firing

"Sterlite protests: As CBI starts inquiry, families of 13 victims demand action against TN police", 15 October 2018

On Sunday [14 October], the Central Bureau of Investigation’s Special Crime Branch began its investigation into the protests against Sterlite Copper’s smelter in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu, and the police firing on May 22 in which 13 people agitating against the plant’s expansion were killed.

...On October 8, the investigation agency had filed a first information report against an unspecified number of persons from 20 organisations on charges that included rioting and voluntarily causing hurt with dangerous weapons...The violence on May 22 followed two decades of protests by Thoothukudi residents and activists, who claimed the smelter operated by a unit of mining and metals major Vedanta was a health hazard. The day after the police firing, the state government permanently shut down the plant.

As the CBI starts its investigation, relatives of the deceased are unsure whether it will investigate their charges of murder and attempt to murder against the police...[According to] People’s Watch, the CBI may not be in a hurry to file a case against the police...On the other hand, [a lawyer], who practises law at the Madurai bench, pointed out that the High Court had clearly said that the Central Bureau of Investigation should register a case or cases on complaints received against the police after the May 22 incident...

 

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