Nallakannu, CPI cadre held for anti-Sterlite protest

Trucks carrying copper concentrate ore to the unit detained, handed over to police

April 11, 2018 08:01 pm | Updated 08:01 pm IST

THOOTHUKUDI

Police arrested 127 CPI members, including veteran leader R. Nallakannu, when they staged a demonstration here on Wednesday against Sterlite Copper without police permission.

When the party organised the demonstration at Chidambara Nagar bus stop here, Mr. Nallakannu addressed the protesters, who included a good number of women. He said the people of Thoothukudi were suffering from a range of ailments owing to pollution caused by chemical industries and mushrooming coal-based thermal power plants.

“Since Sterlite Copper is drawing three crore litres of water from the Tamirabharani every day, supply of water for farming operations and drinking purposes has been seriously affected. Hence, the people are spontaneously protesting against the factory,” Mr. Nallakannu said.

He termed Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board’s denial of consent for operation to Sterlite Copper a “suspicious” move.

Since the police did not give permission for the agitation, the protesting party members, including 34 women, were arrested.

Later in the evening, all the arrested were released.

Earlier, the anti-Sterlite protesters detained three lorries carrying copper concentrate ore from Thoothukudi seaport to the factory after 11 p.m. on Tuesday. They took the vehicles to SIPCOT police station after midnight.

On Wednesday, the protesters went to the private firm importing the copper concentrate ore for Sterlite Copper and asked the authorities there to stop importing it. They also submitted a petition to the port authorities not to handle ships carrying copper concentrate ore.

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