A 21-year old student of industrial training institute, who was part of a patrol team to deter sand mining in Mittaadhaarkulam village, was crushed to death by a sand-laden tipper lorry near Thisaiyanvilai in Tirunelveli District in the wee hours of Sunday.
Villagers of Mittaadhaarkulam were conducting night patrolling for the past several months to stop illegal sand mining near their village.
The villagers saw a tipper lorry moving towards Nambiyar Bridge to mine sand shortly after midnight and a group of Mittaadhaarkulam residents went to the spotaround 2.30 a.m., to detain the lorry and the illegal sand miners. However, a speeding lorry hit E. Sathish Kumar of Mittaadhaarkulam and crushed him to death on the spot even as his father Esthaak Vincent was standing at a distance.
Undeterred, the villagers chased the lorry and detained it along with one L. Arul (35) of Vijaya Achchampaadu even as the occupants abandoned the vehicle and escaped under the cover of darkness. Agitated they blocked traffic on the Valliyoor–Tiruchendur Main Road for two hours. Radhapuram MLA S. Michael Royappan and former MLA M. Appavu consoled the parents.
Cheranmahadevi Sub-Collector Rohini Ramdoss, said stern action would be taken against illicit sand miners and those who killed Sathish Kumar. A team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police (Valliyoor) N.K. Stanley Jones nabbed C. Kingston, the lorry driver.