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How killing of protesters by police in TN’s Tuticorin diverted attention from fuel price hike

By oneindia staff

Chennai, May 24: The horrific episode of death of at least 13 persons in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin due to an indiscriminate firing by the police during an anti-Sterlite rally on Tuesday has shocked the whole world.

The situation in Tuticorin is far from normal even on Thursday--two days after police personnel resorted to firing against unarmed protesters who were demanding the closure of Vedanta's Sterlite copper unit over pollution concerns.

sterlite protest

Questions have been raised over the state police's decision to send its men in civvies and use assault rifles to kill protesters all of a sudden. In a shocking video, a police personnel in civilian dress is seen climbing on the top of a vehicle and then he aims his rifle at the protesters who are at a little distance away from him.

The policeman is also accompanied by a few of his colleagues. A voice in the video states that at least one protester has to die. It is not clear from the video whether the protesters died due to firing by the policeman atop the vehicle.

The manner in which the entire sordid saga was handled by the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government in the state has once again brought to light the brutality unleashed by authorities against unarmed civilians across the country.

While Congress president Rahul Gandhi has called the gunning down of protesters in Tuticorin "state-sponsored terrorism", Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader Stalin has dubbed the deaths in Sterlite protests brutal murder, akin to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

Now, a new theory has emerged regarding the decision of the police opening fire on civilians, although they have been protesting strongly against the unit for the last 99 days prior to the killings.

According to a tweet by a senior journalist, the police firing that resulted in the death of so many people diverted commoners' attention from the everyday rise in prices of fuels across the country.

The tweet by RK Radhakrishnan, associate editor, Frontline, suggested that the Edappadi K Palaniswami government carried out the "massacre" so that people "forget" about petrol price hike.

He also called Palaniswami a "bhakth" (disciple) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After the demise of former CM of TN, J Jayalalithaa, it has been alleged that the BJP government at the Centre is controlling the strings of the AIADMK government in the southern state.

"So what did we forget because we are all rightfully agitated about #TuticorinKillings and #SterliteProtest? #PetrolPriceHike. Today #petrol breached the ₹80 mark for the first time in #Chennai. Selling at ₹80.15. @PMOIndia can't hope for a bigger Bhakth than @CMOTamilNadu," tweeted Radhakrishnan.

Nobody can say the exact motive behind the killing of protesters, but one thing is clear, governments across the country are fast turning into brutal and autocratic regimes, murdering their own people--be it in Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh or Tamil Nadu.

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