Thoothukudi Sterlite Violence: Arrest Of Six Under NSA Points To Role Of Outsiders In Protests
Thoothukudi Sterlite Violence: Arrest Of Six Under NSA Points To Role Of Outsiders In ProtestsThe Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi. (LiveMint)

Tamil Nadu police have detained six persons under the National Security Act (NSA) for damaging vehicles and stone-throwing during the violence that broke out during the hundredth day protest demanding the closure of Vedanta’s Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi. Times of India has reported that the six among those arrested in connection with the violence that broke out on 22 May were detained under NSA on orders of Tamil Nadu Home Secretary Niranjan Mardi. The secretary had issued orders based on recommendations for the district collector and superintendent of police.

The six - Kaleel Rahman, his sons Mohammed Yunus and Mohammed Ashraf, Saravanan, Velmurugan and Kottaiyan - had allegedly torched vehicles and damaged properties at the district collectorate. All the six are not locals and had reportedly come to Thoothukudi to take part in the protest that turned violent on 22 May.

Thirteen people were killed when police opened fire to control the violent protesters, who attacked the collectorate and the quarters of the copper plant employees.

Kaleel and his sons are from Melapalayam, Kottaiyan from Usilampatti in Madurai district and Saravanan and Velumurugan from Kovilpatti town that is 60 km from Thoothukudi. The arrests of six gives credence to allegations that anti-socials and unruly elements had come to Thoothukudi to create trouble.

A first information reports lodged in connection with the case said that over 10,000 persons had gathered on the hundredth day of protest on 22 May and resorted to violence when police tried to stop them from going to the collectorate.

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