'The martyrs did it': bloody end to Indian copper plant saga

'The martyrs did it': bloody end to Indian copper plant saga

Few Tuticorin residents are celebrating closure, with many battling cancer and sickness

David and Goliath are familiar characters in Tuticorin. The south Indian city, home to one of the country’s oldest Christian communities, has been fighting a giant. Days after 13 protesters were fatally gunned down by police, including a teenage girl, activists won a key victory over one of the world’s largest mining companies.

For more than two decades, Sterlite, a subsidiary of the London-listed Vedanta Resources, has been operating a copper smelter on the outskirts of the city. Over the same period, activists have been arguing the site is fouling Tuticorin’s air and water, and has caused unnaturally high cancer rates in surrounding villages.

Related: Indian copper plant shut down days after deadly protests

Related: Police in south India accused of mass murder after shooting dead protesters

Related: Closure of Vedanta copper plant in India must be followed by a cleanup | Letters

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