NATIONAL NEWS

Rajnath condoles Thoothukudi deaths

New Delhi, May 24: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said his Ministry had taken congnisance of killing of 12 protesters in police firing in Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu and sought a report from the state on the incident and the prevailing situation. The Minister condoled the loss of lives of people protesting against a copper smelting plant in Thoothukudi and appealed to the people there to maintain peace. “I am deeply pained at the loss of precious lives during the agitation at Thoothukudi. The MHA has taken cognisance and sought a report from the state on the prevailing situation. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. I also pray for the speedy recovery of the injured. I appeal to the people there to remain calm and maintain peace and tranquility in the region,” Rajnath Singh said.

A Ministry statement said it was in touch with the Tamil Nadu government on violence in Thoothukudi and a detailed report had been sought on the sequence of events and circumstances leading to the loss of lives on Tuesday. “Tamil Nadu has been requested to furnish a detailed report on the Sterilite Copper smelting plant and asked to provide details of the action taken to restore peace and normalcy.” The Thoothukudi protests turned violent when police fired at thousands of protesters demanding closure of the Vedanta Group-run Sterlite Industries for polluting the area and leading to severe health problems for area residents, besides depleting groundwater table.