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India: UN experts condemn deadly police response to protest against Vedanta's copper smelting plant

"UN experts condemn deadly police response to protest against copper smelting plant in India, call for probe", 31 May 2018

UN human rights experts have condemned the apparent excessive and disproportionate use of lethal force by police against protesters calling for the closure of a copper smelting plant in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu over health and environmental concerns. The plant is run by Sterlite Copper, a business unit of Vedanta Ltd., which is a subsidiary of the UK-based company, Vedanta Resources.

Police opened fire on thousands of protesters on 22 May, reportedly killing 12 people and injuring dozens of others marching against the expansion of the heavily polluting copper smelter in the southern port city of Thoothukudi…

The experts noted that local and national judicial and administrative bodies have documented water contamination, air pollution and other forms of environmental degradation linked to the copper smelting plant and related activities. “Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, all business enterprises have a responsibility to respect human rights, including identifying, preventing, mitigating and accounting for how they address their adverse human rights impacts,” the experts said, calling on Sterlite Copper as well as its parent company, Vedanta Resources, to take immediate measures to mitigate pollution and to ensure access to safe water and health care... 

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