The protests against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant turned ugly with a fisherman being killed in police firing.
Earlier in the day, the Vaiaravikanaru shore in the coastal Kudankulam hamlet, in Tirunelveli district, resembled a war zone as protesting villagers and police clashed. To disperse the crowd which had gathered defying prohibitory orders, police lobbed tear gas shells and used batons.
The police crackdown on the protesters at Vairavikanaru shore, about 500 metres from the nuclear plant site, began around noon, almost 24 hours after they had assembled there. After a high-level meeting with the state police chief and other top officials, chief minister J Jayalalithaa issued a statement, urging villagers to maintain calm and not to fall into the trap of the anti-nuclear activists. She mourned the fisherman and announced financial assistance for the bereaved family.
Soon after the firing in Manapad, pitched battle broke out between police and protesters in several parts of Kudankulam as villagers started throwing stones at police. The protests had by then spread to coastal villages in Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari.