TN govt provides relief to Thoothukudi Sterlite protestors

The Tamil Nadu government has on Friday issued an order in which it has been decided to withdraw most of the cases registered against anti-Sterlite protesters.

The government decision is based on recommendations of the inquiry commission headed by Justice Aruna Jegadeesan. A massive protest took place on May 22, 2018 in the Thoothukudi district in which thousands of people took part demanding that the expansion plans of the Sterlite Copper Plant be cancelled and marched to the Collectorate.

In the violence that ensued, 13 civilians were killed in police firing, and more than 100 people were injured. “A Commission consisting of retired High Court justice Aruna Jegadeesan was constituted to inquire into the loss of life, injuries and damage to public and private property due to violence during the protest against the permanent closure of the Sterlite copper smelting plant on May 22, 2018, in Thoothukudi.

The Interim Report of the Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice Mrs Aruna Jegadeesan was submitted to the Government on May 14, 2021,” reads the order issued by the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister has issued the following orders after careful consideration of the state Attorney general’s opinion based on the recommendations made by the committee.

1.Except for the cases that were handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) and those connected with damage to public and private property, all the other cases related to the incident will be withdrawn. 2. The cases registered in connection with this protest prior to the incident on 22.05. 2018 will be withdrawn except for those cases pending in the Supreme Court.

3. The Commission has recommended financial relief to some of the 94 persons arrested by the police on the ground that they were injured and many others had to undergo mental stress. One lakh rupees each will be provided as relief to 93 persons on this basis. Apart from this, one person was arrested in another case and died in prison. His 72-year-old mother who lost her source for livelihood will be given a relief of two lakh rupees.

4. Based on the recommendations given by the Commission, No Objection Certificates will be issued for the higher education and employment of persons arrested by the Tamil Nadu Police during this struggle.

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