Teen came to know of Class X marks in hospital bed

Teen came to know of Class X marks in hospital bed

Harish is scared as the school would close admissions on Friday.

Fifteen-year-old Isakkimuthu Harish should have been at the B M C School in Millerpuram in the heart of Thoothukudi after having scored 71% marks in his Class X public exam.

But the teenager is at the Thoothukudi Government General Hospital receiving treatment after he was allegedly attacked with lathis by policemen on Tuesday during the anti-Sterlite protests.

Harish and his father Isakki, a mason by profession, had participated in the protests and were returning to the area where they had parked their two-wheeler after the agitation turned violent.

While Harish sustained injuries on his hand, his father has suffered a fracture on his right hand and is in great pain due to the "heavy beating" on the chest area.

"I was at the hospital, nearly unconscious when the Class X results were announced. I am happy that I could score 353 out of 500. But I am now scared whether all my hard work would go in vain since the school would close admissions tomorrow (Friday)," Harish told DH, tears rolling down his cheeks.

His grandfather said the police beat up the teenager so badly that he fell to the ground, from where he was rushed to the hospital on a scooter.

"How could they even think of beating up a 15-year-old? What was his fault? Will the government answer?" he asked.

For Isakki, the pain on his hand does not bother him anymore and his only worry now is to get his son admitted in a school.

"I never got an opportunity to study, but I don’t want my son also to end up as a mason like me," Isakki said.

Just a bed away at the same ward is Nelson Roy. The 30-year-old is still inconsolable as he is not able to come out of the shock of his "comrade" losing his life after being shot in the head by the police.

Roy himself has been operated upon for bullet injuries on his right leg.

"I will somehow get up and walk in the next couple of months. But what about the comrade who was shot dead in front of us. We did not know his name, but we had been together during the protests and went to the collectorate. We were all trying to escape when he collapsed. We were shell shocked to see gunshot on his forehead," Roy said.

Not just Harish, Isakki and Roy, almost every person wounded in the police firing want only one thing — permanent shutting down of Sterlite Copper.

Michael Robert, who had come to attend to one of his injured relatives, said the people oppose Sterlite only because they have suffered enough due to the effluent practices of the Vedanta owned company.

"One of our neighbours suffered from cancer and she eventually died. We don't want our next generation also to suffer," Robert said.

Interrupting him, Harish went emotional and said, "I don't know whether the next generation will even live for 30 years if Sterlite continues with its operations".