Three dead as police fire on mob in Tamil Nadu

September 11th, 2011 - 8:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Sep 11 (IANS) Three people died when the police opened fire on a mob of angry Dalits indulging in arson and stone pelting in Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram district Sunday, police said. Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has announced compensation of Rs.100,000 for the kin of each of the dead.

The mob was protesting the detention of TMMK founder John Pandian, police said.

Several others people including policemen, were injured in the violence and prohibitory orders have been issued in Paramakudi, around 450 km from Chennai, in the district.

A large police contingent has been deployed at Paramakudi and surrounding villages.

In Madurai, two persons - Prakash and Balakrishnan - were injured when police opened fire to disperse protesters demanding Pandan’s release.

Violence erupted in Paramakudi after the Tuticorin police detained Pandian when he was on his way to participate in the Emmanuel Sekaran Memorial celebrations.

In a statement issued here, Jayalalithaa said in order to maintain law and order in Ramanathapuram, the police had prohibited Pandian from entering the district.

“As he defied the prohibitory orders, the Tuticorin police arrested him,” she said.

According to the police, supporters of Pandian protested on the road in Paramakudi and later started pelting stones, injuring several policemen.

Jayalalithaa said: “The police first advised the protesters to disperse. Disregarding the advice, the protesters pelted stones at the police.”

She said the protesters indulged in arson and set fire to a fire engine and a police vehicle.

According to police, supporters of Pandian in Paramakudi protested on the road, disrupting traffic. They then started pelting stones on police and other vehicles.

Police initially tried to disperse the protesters by a baton charge and using tear gas shells. However, as the violence grew with the mob setting fire to some police vehicles, police opened fire.

Police said around 30 of their men have been injured in the protest.

Meanwhile PMK founder S. Ramadoss in a statement has demanded a judicial enquiry into the police firing in Paramakudi and payment of compensation to the families of dead and to those injured in the firing.

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