Anti-Sterlite protest in Thoothukudi, the violence and aftermath

A Tamil Nadu police personnel in plainclothes placing himself atop a police bus a few meters away from where people had gathered to hold anti Steralite protest

Aruna was part of the bench that gave a clean chit to the police in February 2015, for alleged fake encounters in Velachery that killed five men suspected of bank robbery. Not only was this tragedy totally avoidable, it appears that the police have fired mindlessly and shot even at women in fishing hamlets like Therespuram.

On Tuesday, the Tamil cine icon had expressed his grief at the deaths of the protesters in police firing on the 100th day of the agitations against the expansion plans of the Sterlite Industries, a Vedanta-group company.

Gandhi tweeted: "The gunning down by the police of nine people in".

The state's chief minister, Edappadi K. Palaniswami, said police had been forced to act after the protests turned violent, and that nine people had been killed. The regulators - TNPCB and ministry of environment and forests - too continued their cosy relationship with Sterlite ignoring blatant violations of statutory conditions and clear indications of pollution.

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It has ignored the tentative findings of a government medical college's health study that reported higher incidents of certain health problems among the villagers living around the factory.

The plant was shut for more than two months in 2013 by an environmental court after residents complained about emissions.

A communication sent by Home Secretary Niranjan Mardi to the nodal officers of internet service providers in the three districts said "A public emergency has arisen which necessitates immediate action and speedy remedy for the public tranquillity and it felt necessary that services of internet should be stopped/curtailed to prevent spreading of such information rumours with half-truth". The RSS and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been opposed by Tamil Nadu.

In a video posted on Twitter, the 67-year-old Rajinikanth criticised the AIADMK-led Tamil Nadu government.

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