The police excess in Thoothukudi continued on Wednesday, as they indulged in a fresh round of firing in the city’s Anna Nagar area. The police shot at protesters in the area, a day after 11 people were killed by the police during an anti-Sterlite agitation. And on Wednesday, one more person was killed. Twenty two-year-old Kaliappan was killed in the police firing – and the reaction of the police when he lay dying on the road was inhuman.
In a video from the scene, Kaliappan can be seen lying on the ground, unable to get up. Scores of policemen in full riot gear surrounded him, and as Kaliappan moves his head a little, one of them can be heard saying, “Stop acting.”
— Anna Isaac (@anna_isaac) May 23, 2018
Another clip, seemingly taken moments later, shows police officers lifting Kaliappan’s feet up and dropping it back on the ground as he lay motionless.
According to sources on the ground, Kaliappan was declared dead when he was brought to the Government Hospital in Thoothukudi.
What happened on Wednesday
A day after violence broke out in Thoothukudi in the face of police firing at protesters who tried to enter the Collector’s office, there was heavy police presence in the town, with officers in full riot gear deployed across Thoothukudi. Section 144 was imposed.
At one point, a police bus was set on fire by unidentified persons. No one was injured and the fire was brought under control soon.
Minutes later, the police claimed that some protesters pelted stones at them in Anna Nagar area of the town, and that they retaliated with “rubber bullets.” According to The Hindu, "A police team had attempted to chase away a mob that was pelting stones at 6th Street. However, when the mob intensified their attack on the police team, the police opened fire. Four of them sustained bullet injuries, the police said."
One person – Kaliappan – was killed. At least five others were injured in the firing, and visuals showed at least one minor who was bleeding heavily being taken on a bike to the hospital by civilians in the area.
Not the first video
The visuals of police telling Kaliappan to 'stop acting' are not the first from Thoothukudi. Earlier, visuals emerged of the police in plainclothes taking aim and shooting at protesters with assault rifles. Background audio that emerged later showed that the police were perhaps aiming to kill -- a person in the background can be hear saying, "At least one should die."