‘Police picked targets in Thoothukudi’

Group claims suggests that 8 of those killed were ‘executed’ for their role in stir

May 25, 2018 01:09 am | Updated 07:49 am IST - CHENNAI

An organisation claimed on Thursday that the police had targeted and killed eight of the 12 individuals killed in the violence at Thoothukudi on May 22-23.

At an interaction at the Chennai Press Club, Fr. Jegath Gaspar Raj, who spoke on behalf of NAAM-Thamizhaka Makkal and “people of Tuticorin, Tirunelveli and Kanniyakumari living in Chennai” claimed that eight individuals killed on May 22 had been shot at close range.

“We categorically state that the first eight killings were planned in advance by the police and executed with precision by well-trained police shooters who mingled with the protesters as civilians,” said the statement.

The organisers, which included D. Thomas Franco of the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation, said that they had collected eyewitness testimonies on six of the eight shootings. Fr. Raj said that he suspected that the eight had been targeted because they were among the coordinators of the protest. “That a 17-year-old school-going girl Snolin has been shot in the mouth from close range should shake the conscience of the entire nation,” said a statement released by the organisers.

They demanded the permanent closure of the Sterlite Copper plant and refused to accept the appointment of the one-person enquiry commission to look into the violence. “Venkatesh, the previous Collector, and Mahendran, the previous Superintendent of Police, should be immediately suspended and slapped with pre-meditated murder charges,” said the statement.

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