TN lifts prohibitory orders in Thoothukudi after days of anti-Sterlite protests

Tamil Nadu authorities have lifted prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC in Thoothukudi. Tamil Nadu DGP TK Rajendran said internet services would be restored from Sunday night in the areas affected by anti-Sterlite protests.

Chief minister K Palaniswami also announced the aid to families of the 13 people killed in police firing last week during anti-Sterlite plant protests would be doubled from Rs10 lakh to Rs20 lakh.
“Internet facility will be restored from tonight. People can avail services without any problem. We are also withdrawing some officers from some areas, but we are keeping adequate forces on the ground. I request the people to co-operate,” ANI quoted Rajendran as saying.
Section 144, which does not allow assembly of more than four people, was imposed on May 23 following the violence in which 13 people lost their lives as thousands of protesters took to the streets demanding closure of Sterlite Copper, a Vedanta group copper smelter unit, in the port town of Thoothukudi over pollution concerns.
On Sunday, hotels, restaurants and private buses were back in operation as the district limped back to normalcy “Now, both government-owned buses and private buses are being operated in the district,” state information and publicity minister Kadambur Raju said.
Besides increasing the compensation for next of kin of the deceased, the government also increased aid for those seriously injured to Rs5 lakh from Rs3 lakh and for those with minor injuries to Rs1.50 lakh from Rs one lakh.
The decision was taken after consultation with retired Madras High Court Judge Aruna Jagadeesan, who is heading the Commission of Inquiry set up by the government to probe the violence, say reports.
The Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered a stay on the expansion of the copper plant.
After 13 people were killed and over 60 were injured a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the Supreme Court sought a court-monitored CBI probe into the deaths of the protestors.
The SC is scheduled to take up the matter for hearing today.
The state government, meanwhile, formed a judicial commission headed by retired high court judge Justice Aruna Jagadeesan to probe the police firing. The National Human Rights Commission (NRHC) has also issued notice to the state government over the death of people killed in police firing. The commission has asked the chief secretary and Director General of Police (DGP) to file a reply within two weeks. Apart from this, the union home ministry has also sought a report from the state government providing details of the incident.