Sunday, June 24, 2018 10:04:20 PM

India: Police Fatally Shoot Copper Plant Protesters

By Human Rights Watch - Wed May 23, 8:20 pm

People shout slogans outisde the Tamil Nadu House during a protest, after at least 10 people were killed when police fired on protesters seeking closure of plant on environmental grounds in town of Thoothukudi in southern state of Tamil Nadu, in New Delhi

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People shout slogans outisde the Tamil Nadu House during a protest, after at least 10 people were killed when police fired on protesters seeking closure of plant on environmental grounds in town of Thoothukudi in southern state of Tamil Nadu, in New Delhi, India on May 23, 2018.

 

© 2018 Reuters/Adnan Abidi

(New York) – Authorities in India’s Tamil Nadu state should conduct a prompt, impartial, and transparent investigation into the police shooting of protesters against a copper plant that left at least 12 dead and 80 injured, Human Rights Watch said today. Television news video footage shows two plainclothes men firing at protesters from atop a police van during a demonstration on May 22, 2018.

Since February, residents of the port city of Tuticorin have protested against the expansion of a copper smelting plant and demanded its closure because of environmental concerns. Previous protests have largely been peaceful. On May 22, protesters clashed with police after being prevented from marching to the offices of the local administration. Police said they were compelled to respond with live ammunition after demonstrators pelted police with stones, attacked a government building, and set vehicles on fire.

“The police have a duty during protests to maintain law and order, but lethal force can only be used if there is an imminent threat to life,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director….

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