A crowd going on rampage led to the police firing in which a fisherman died near the Kulasekarapattinam police station in Tuticorin district on Monday evening. The crowd supporting the anti-Kudankulam agitation set fire to a check post at Manapad.
Unrest prevailed since 11 a.m. on Beach Road here after the police action against anti-nuclear power protesters at Idinthakarai. The police opened fire at a crowd when it was approaching the police station after setting fire to the check post. G. Antony John (48), a fisherman of Manapad, was killed in the firing. The body is kept at the Government Hospital, Tiruchendur.
A large number of fishermen indulged in violence in surrounding coastal hamlets, including Periyathaalai, Manapad and Kulasekarapattinam, demanding withdrawal of police force deployed at Idinthakarai and its surroundings. Three police personnel, including the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Tiruchendur, sustained injuries in the attack. Four police personnel – Grade-I constables of Meignanapuram and Kulasekarapattinam stations, women sub-inspector and Special SI of Uvari of Tirunelveli district – were forcibly taken by protesters and kept at a marriage hall in Periyathaalai. They were released after the intervention of top police officials in the evening.
Several shops on Beach Road, Threspuram and George Road were closed. The fishermen also threatened to lay siege to the Head Post Office on Tiruchendur Road.
The police resorted to a mild lathicharge on fishermen who squatted on a railway track. Passengers of the Tuticorin–Mysore Express were stranded as the train could leave the station only around 7.35 p.m. instead of 4.30 p.m. Fishing operations came to a standstill in the district in support of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy.