As the protest turned violent, the police resorted to firing, killing 13 people.

‘Changing sentiments’

Sources said the company was keen on capitalising on what it believed to be “rapidly changing sentiments” of the local community. In recent days, groups of villagers, contractors and the company’s customers have sought resumption of operations at the plant. The company believes that the presence of employees would help bolster these campaigns.

Further, a number of teams have been deployed by the company to increase its outreach.

In one communication, the company said it had set up a ‘Twitter Response Force’.

Many Twitter handles, which are of recent vintage, have been posting pro-Sterlite comments and criticising a number of people including environmental activists and select journalists.

‘Dispel rumours’

Another spokesperson of the company said that the employees had been active on Twitter to dispel rumours revolving around the Sterlite plant.

However, activist Nityanand Jayaraman alleged, “Nearly 300 Twitter handles have been identified so far. Their aim is to get ‘reopen Sterlite’ trending on Twitter. You find only as much truth in their content as you would find in advertising campaigns.”

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