Amid protests against Sterlite Copper run by Vedanta in Tamil Nadu's Thoothukudi that killed 13 people, the CEO of the plant said that the company has no plans of exiting the town.
P. Ramnath told The Hindu in an interview that despite the controversy surrounding the plant, they were not looking to move out of the state and planned to take the legal course as part of the solution.
This comes even as Reuters reported Thoothukudi collecter Sandeep Nanduri as saying, "The government's position is very clear, it doesn't want the plant to run."
Environmentalists and protesters have long claimed that emissions from the plant was polluting the air and water in the area and was life-threatening for the people of the local area.
However, in the interview Ramnath painted the picture that external elements like "foreign funded NGOs" were involved and not locals. He also said that it was know from the very beginning that protests were going to be violent, while condemning the police firing.
He said in the interview, "We really feel there is some external catalyst, which is adding fuel and ensuring that the fire keeps burning. These are elements that have come in and they are making use of the situation to further their own agenda. It can be NGOs getting foreign funding for destabilising local industries is a common knowledge."
Ramnath's comments come even as another report has found that a panel that was to be set up to asses environmental clearances to the plant have still not been set up.
The Indian Express reported that Ministry of Environment and Forests panel had recommended another sub committee, but that had never been formed.
Meanwhile protests against the plant and the killing of protesters continues in Tamil Nadu. DMK, its ally Congress, DMK, VCK and other parties protested in different parts of the city on Friday.
Opposition workers and leaders protest in #Chennai's Egmore against #ThoothukudiPoliceFiring. DMK's Kanimozhi and VCK's Thirumavalavan among those detained by Police. #SterliteProtest pic.twitter.com/EDlohUKrgJ— ANI (@ANI) May 25, 2018
PTI reported that while security had been beefed up across the state, Chennai faced traffic snarls because of the protest across the city.
And even though Thoothukudi remained tense, there were no reports of fresh violence on Friday.