The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has given permission to hold a memorial meeting to mark the first death anniversary of 13 people who died in police firing as part of the Sterlite protest on May 22, 2018, in Thoothukudi.
The court said the meeting should be held between 9 and 11 am and not more than 250 people should participate. Social activist Fathima Babu requested permission from the HC after the Thoothukudi police denied permission citing the model code of conduct. The meeting is to be organised in Ottapidaram region where by-election is scheduled frorm May 19. The HC said the entire meeting should be videographed. The organisers should also submit details of the participants after the event, it said.
The protest against the Sterlite copper smelting unit and the subsequent police firing had caused quite an upheaval in Tamil Nadu. The allegation was that the police fired indiscriminately at a crowd of protestors whose actions did not warrant the use of firepower.
Sterlite Copper has been facing resistance from people’s groups citing environmental pollution since the plant was set up in 1993.