Vedanta for ‘no protest zone’ around Sterlite unit

Vedanta, the holding company of Sterlite Industries, has yet again knocked at the doors of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, this time not only seeking additional police protection but also direction to invoke Section 144 (unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code around the factory in Thoothukudi.

The petitioner, Satyapriya, General Manager (Legal), sought a direction declaring the periphery of up to one kilometre as a ‘no protest’ zone. He said that in the past two and a half months the factory was at the receiving end of various “criminal activities,” including a petrol bomb attack at the front gate.

He said that the protests against the factory were spreading rapidly, instilling fear in the minds of employees and their family members.

The protests had turned violent and factory property was being damaged and political leaders were trying to gain mileage from the prevailing situation, he added.

Justice M. S. Ramesh, hearing the petition, sought instructions from the Superintendent of Police, Thoothukudi, and adjourned the case till May 17.

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