Police Might Have Flouted Rules in Sterlite Copper Firing: Report

12 of the 13 protesters were hit by bullets in the head or chest, against the police’s own rules on firearm use. 

1 min read
Hindi Female

Autopsy reports of the 13 protesters killed after the police opened fire on a demonstration against Vedanta’s copper smelter in Tamil Nadu show that rules might have been flouted by the police during the firing.

A Reuters report on the autopsies states many of them were killed by bullet wounds in the head or chest, even as the police rules for using firearms say, "aim should be kept low, preferably well below the waist level, and directed against the most threatening part of the mob”.

Twelve of the 13 protesters killed were hit by bullets in the head or chest, and half of those were shot from behind, the Reuters report said.

Police are investigating the shootings, which took place as protesters were marching to the local government headquarters in the port city of Thoothukudi, demanding that a copper smelter controlled by London-headquartered Vedanta Resources be shut for allegedly polluting the environment.


However, no police officers have so far been arrested or charged in connection with the killings.

Families and friends of 10 of the 13 protesters are not pursuing any legal action, while one is in touch with a lawyer, Reuters reported.

On Friday, the state high court asked the firm not to reopen the plant for another month, until it had heard an appeal from activists challenging the green court’s decision. In response, the Vedanta Group company Sterlite has said it would move the Supreme Court to implement the NGT order to reopen its copper plant in Thoothukudi.

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