'The inaction of the government has led to the people's protests, and police resorting to firing to control it. Action should be taken to shut down the plant immediately to address this issue, ' MK Stalin, leader of the main opposition group in Tamil Nadu, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, said in a Facebook post.
Sterlite Copper in Tamil Nadu. "It's a total failure of police intelligence", Stalin said.
Police action, including baton charge and firing, which left one dead amid unconfirmed reports that the toll was far more, was done under "unavoidable circumstances", a government statement said.
Police said that the crowd had begun throwing stones at police and office buildings, overturned cars and set several vehicles on fire. Approximately 50,000 people marched towards the collector's office in Thoothukudi, protesting against the expansion plans of the Sterlite smelter plant.
Palanisamy, however, announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each for those killed during protest and Rs 3 lakh each for the injured, besides offering government jobs for the family members of the deceased. Windscreens of some government cars were smashed and bank premises were attacked by the rampaging mobs.
The state's main opposition DMK party slammed the government for failing to address the concerns of the local people.
In a press release from the government, almost 20,000 protesters had gathered for a rally towards the collector's office. The Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangam (Traders Association) has called for an indefinite shutdown across Thoothukudi.
Actor Rajinikanth tweeted that the government does not respect the sentiments of the people. "It could have been stopped before escalating it to such levels". He said people were murdered in Tuticorin for protesting against injustice. "My thoughts and prayers are with the families of these martyrs and the injured", Rahul said on Twitter. "At this critical hour, I appeal to all sections of society to be calm and help in maintaining the peace in the state", he said in a Raj Bhavan release.
Locals protesting the proposed expansion of a Sterlite Coppers plant in a southern Tamil Nadu town clashed with police on Tuesday morning, and law enforcement officals used tear gas and lathis to disperse the gathered crowd.