Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday ordered suspension of internet services in Tuticorin and adjoining districts of Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari for five days to prevent spread of rumours through social media and help bring public tranquility.
The government also transferred district collector N Venkatesh and Superintendent of Police P Mahendran on Wednesday.
Tirunelveli District collector, Sandeep Nanduri has been appointed as Tuticorin district, an official release said.
Nilgiris District SP Murali Rambha will replace P Mahendran.
Blaming provocative messages spread through social media, the government in an order said such messages led to a massive gathering of about 20,000 people on Tuesday in Tuticorin against Sterlite's copper plant which subsequently resulted in violence and police action.
Noting that anti-social elements were trying to exploit the situation, the government directed nodal officers of Internet Service Providers in these three districts to suspend internet services till May 27 effective from Wednesday.
Citing a communique in this respect from the Director General of Police, the order said "it is felt necessary that the services of internet should be stopped/curtailed to prevent spread of such rumours."
With 11 falling to police firing on Tuesday, when the anti-Sterlite stir entered the 100th day and the protesters marched to the district collector’s office to present demand for permanent closure of the copper smelter unit alleging it was polluting environment and groundwater, one more death on Wednesday has now taken the toll in the unfortunate and avoidable tragedy to 12.