The police then lobbed teargas shells to disperse the marching protestors from approaching the plant, NDTV reported.
Owing to the Anti-Sterlite campaigners' call for a massive protest against the operations of copper smelter here, several hundreds of protesters rallied to the collectorate campus here on Tuesday. Police units have been rushed from Madurai and Virudhunagar to bring the situation under control.
The protestors also tried to gherao the collector's office and torched vehicles inside the premise.
"The police had to take action under unavoidable circumstances to protect public life and property as the protesters resorted to repeated violence. police had to control the violence", Palaniswami, who holds the Home portfolio, said. Chief Minister K Palaniswami said he was concerned over the protests and subsequent deaths.
The area around the Collectorate resembled a battle-zone with the protesters setting vehicles afire and attacking policemen with stones.
Over 4,000 police personnel from the nearby district have been deployed to prevent crowding proved futile, as the protesters at various areas breached the barricades and marched forward towards the collectorate. In an official press release, the party said, "The protests against the Sterlite plant were taken lightly by the Tamil Nadu government, and that attitude is the reason for today's unfortunate events".
Police said section 144 of CrPc has been invoked in and around the Sterlite unit to provide security to it as per the orders of the Madras High Court.
Some senior officials have also been dispatched from Chennai to the strife-torn town to assess the situation and take measures to restore calm, sources said.
Actor-turned-politician and south superstars Rajnikanth and Kamal Hassan reacted over the Tuticorin violence, which claimed nine people's lives and left 20 people injured on Tuesday.
Social activists have also joined the protests against the company. The protesters are demanding a ban on Sterlite Industries raising as they create a lot of pollution wake of the pollution created by them.
'We would like to restart the plant as soon as possible, in a peaceful manner, ' P Ramnath, chief executive of Vedanta Ltd's copper business told Reuters.
After a year of protests by the local people, who were scared of the smelter and also feared the degeneration of the fragile coastline, the Ratnagiri district collector issued a notice and asked them to cease all construction work. Sterlite Copper speaks to the copper unit of Vedanta Limited which works a 400,000 tons for every annum-plant in Tuticorin.
DMK working president and Leader of Opposition, MK Stalin, slammed the "inhumane" firing on protestors. He said that the alleged violations at the existing factory complex need to be investigated and even the existing plant should be closed if found in violation of norms and laws.