Anti-Sterlite protest: Videos show cops firing from atop vehicles

The visuals show the policemen climbing atop the vehicle of the Thoothukudi District Police and aiming at the protesters. Image: TV grab New18 Tamil Nadu

Video footage aired by top Tamil news channels on Tuesday evening showed gun-toting policemen in civil clothes taking aim from the top of a riot-control vehicle and firing at anti-Sterlite protesters in Thoothukudi.

The visuals aired by News 18 Tamil Nadu and Puthiya Thalaimurai contradict Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami's view that the policemen resorted to firing only after the protesters forced the decision on them.

The visuals show the policemen climbing atop the vehicle of the Thoothukudi District Police and aiming at the protesters.

One footage showed a policeman, wearing a yellow T-shirt, climbing on to the vehicle and firing at the protesters indiscriminately.

Not to be left behind, another policeman, dressed in a black T-shirt, does the same.

Pointing to television visuals, human rights activists claimed that the protesters were targeted by policemen, as almost all of them were shot near or in the chest area.

Some activists said the protesters were shot at from a point-blank range by protesters.

In a statement, Palaniswami justified the police action and announced that the families of the victims would be given solatium of Rs 10 lakh each besides a government job for a close family member.

"Some of the protesters torched vehicles on the road and forced their way into the collectorate and set on fire government vehicles, besides pelting stones at the premises. To bring the protests under control, the police were forced to take action... A detailed inquiry will be conducted by a retired judge," he said in the statement.

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Anti-Sterlite protest: Videos show cops firing from atop vehicles

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