Thoothukudi firing victims killed by shots to head, chest; half from behind: Postmortem reports

The autopsy reports were produced by forensic medicine experts from several government hospitals. 
In this 22 May 2018 photo, a police personnel shoots at the protesters protesting against the copper smelting plant in Thoothukudi. (Photo | EPS)
In this 22 May 2018 photo, a police personnel shoots at the protesters protesting against the copper smelting plant in Thoothukudi. (Photo | EPS)

Casting aspersions on the State police during the firing against anti-Sterlite protesters in Thoothukudi, autopsy reports of 12 out of 13 protesters killed, show they were hit by bullets in the head or chest, and half of them were shot from behind, according to a Reuters report.

A bullet entered the back of the youngest victim, 17-year-old J Snowlin’s head and exited through her mouth, the autopsy found. 

Among the eight people killed from bullets entering their head or body from behind or the side, 40-year-old Jansi, who like many people in Tamil Nadu, goes by just one name, was shot a few hundred metres away from her house in a narrow street close to Thoothukudi’s seafront.

She was shot through the ear, the report into her death showed.

A bullet went through the forehead of 34-year-old Mani Rajan.

“The deceased would appear to have died of penetrating injury to the brain due to the firearm bullet injury to the right side of forehead,” Mani’s autopsy report said.

The dead also included a man in his 50s, six men in their 40s, and three men in their early 20s. 
Police rules in India, allow the use of live ammunition to counter civil unrest, but say that the response should be proportionate and officers should not shoot to kill.

Police Standing Orders for Tamil Nadu say that, when using firearms, “aim should be kept low, preferably well below the waist level, and directed against the most threatening part of the mob.”

A working group of the United Nations’ human rights experts in May, condemned the “apparent excessive and disproportionate use of lethal force by the police.”

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