Anti-Sterlite stir: Except for few pockets, Thoothukudi returns to normal

Police personnel baton charge at a protestor demanding the closure of Vedanta's Sterlite Copper unit in Tuticorin | Photo: PTI
Five days after the police shooting on anti-Sterlite protesters, which has claimed 13 lives until now, most of Thoothukudi town returned to normal life, except in few places where tension continues.  

The police claim they opened fire on the protesters on Tuesday after the latter started throwing stones and burning vehicles. Apart from those killed, many of the protesters were also injured.

The protesters want the Sterlite Copper plant to be closed as they feel it is hazardous. The Madras High Court and the state government have ordered the closure of the factory. Following this order, the town started calming down. 

On Saturday, while the buses were running, people were not coming out in their usual numbers, said shopkeepers at the city's bus stand. The bus stand still has police presence and two or three police vans. 

The police were using drones to watch over sensitive areas since the roads were blocked by residents.  

A bus to Tiruchendur was set alight on Friday night, said the shopkeepers, adding that from the morning, only one or two buses had started for Tiruchendur.

Further, a fruit vendor at the bus stand said that he didn't think the issue was over since the dead bodies had not been handed over to the relatives. Once the bodies are returned, there will be tension, he added. 

A tea shop owner said that people were not coming to indulge in violence, adding that if they were, the people from the east part of the town, which is a fishing hamlet, would have been well armed. People walked in without any weapons, he added. He also thought that until the bodies were returned, the tension would not be over.   

Meanwhile, in parts of the state, protests still continued against the police action at Thoothukudi. 

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel