In May 22, 2018 as people protested against the Vedanta-owned Sterlite copper plant, the police opened fire on a rally which marked the 100th day of demonstrations. The following day another person died from being hit by a rubber bullet, taking the death toll up to 13. Dozens of people were wounded. The government of Tamil Nadu then asked for a definitive closure of the plant; while welcoming the order, protestors said they need a cabinet decision on this or the company will move court to get a stay. (6). This massacre became word news.(4). (5). (7). (8).The background to current events is a follows. The ‘Anti-Sterlite People’s Committee’ protested against the company Sterlite Industries (India) Limited since March 2013. The factory belongs to the company Vedanta Group. On 23rd March 2013, many people from neighbourhood areas fell sick following noxious gas leak (1). It is common knowledge that sulphur dioxide is a byproduct of smelting. The effluent is toxic for a number of reasons. Following the protest, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board issued a notice directing the Vedanta group company to close the plant. The conflict continues today (2018).
Seven years before March 2013, in 1996, the copper smelter had begun operations in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu (Newsclick, 2018; Foil Vedanta, 2018). Protests against the plant began almost immediately, with hundreds of fishermen blockading the port with their boats, in order to prevent the ships carrying copper ore from unloading in March and October of 1996. However, this did not prevent operations. In July 1997, 165 women in a neighboring factory—Ramesh Flowers, fainted as a result of a toxic gas leak from the plant. Some of these women later had miscarriages (Foil Vedanta, 2018).