At least one more person has been killed in a fresh round of firing by the police in Thoothukudi. Even as Thoothukudi continued to mourn the death of 11 persons from Tuesday’s clashes, another youth was killed in fresh police firing on Wednesday, while at least five others sustained injuries.
Although there was no official word on the latest casualties, hospital sources did confirm the same.
As per news reports, a 22-year-old man named Kaliappan was killed in police firing in Thoothukudi. The other injured have been rushed to the Government Hospital for treatment.
According to local reports, the police resorted to firing at Anna Nagar in Thoothukudi following stone-pelting. In the incident SP Mahendran was also injured, stated reports.
The situation in Thoothukudi remains tense, with prohibitory orders under Section 144 clamped down in the town.
Earlier in the day, a police bus was set on fire on Wednesday by unidentified persons. The visuals showed a gutted bus as the fire was being contained. However, no casualties were reported in this incident, which took place in Bryant Nagar, 1.5 km away from the Government Hospital.
The police could be seen walking around with loudspeakers around the town, appealing for calm. "Public should not indulge in such activities. Please stay safe inside your houses. People of Thoothukudi should cooperate with police," they announced.
The fresh round of firing comes a day after the town saw widespread violence as police and protesters, agitating against the Sterlite copper smelting plant, clashed. Eleven people died as the police opened fire on the protesters and 70 people are injured. Those who died include a woman and a 17-year-old girl.
Following clashes with the protesters, the police lathi charged, fired tear gas and later fired bullets at the crowd. In a video that has surfaced, the police can be seen taking aim with assault rifles, and the audio in the background suggests that they were aiming to kill the unarmed protesters.
Retired High Court judge Aruna Jagadeesan has been appointed as the one-woman inquiry committee to probe the police firing and killing of civilians who were protesting against Sterlite’s copper smelter in Thoothukudi. The timeline for investigating this case has not been fixed.