Tirunelveli: A young man with no criminal history was gunned down by an Inspector of Police in Nanguneri in Tirunelveli district under questionable circumstances on Tuesday afternoon. While villagers of Marugalkurichi, where the 32-year old victim Vanamamalai was shot dead, alleged that he was killed in cold blood by the Inspector after minor provocation, police claimed that the officer had acted in self-defence.
Vanamamalai and his younger brother Murugan hailing from Marugalkurichi were involving in small time sand mining from the Periya Kulam (Big Tank) at Nanguneri in their tractor and selling it to local brick kilns. It is alleged that the Nanguneri police on Sunday booked Murugan for mining excess sand and arrested him. Angered, Vanamamalai allegedly called the Nanguneri Inspector Vijayakumar over phone and abused him leading to a verbal duel on Monday.
On Tuesday afternoon Vijayakumar came to the village in mufti in a police vehicle in search of Vanamamalai. While other villagers fled on seeing the police vehicle, an altercation ensued between Vanamamalai and the Inspector during which the latter reportedly opened fire killing the sand miner on the spot. The victim is survived by wife and two children.
A young man with no criminal history was gunned down by an Inspector of Police in Nanguneri in Tirunelveli.
Angry villagers blocked traffic on the Tirunelveli-Nagercoil Road demanding the Inspector’s arrest. Senior police officers led by Tirunelveli DIG V Varadaraju and Tirunelveli SP Vijayendra S Bidari and the Cheranmahadevi Sub Collector Rohini Ramdas arrived at the spot to defuse the situation.
A senior police officer said that the Inspector had gone to the Marugalkurichi village to probe a complaint from a woman that two persons had attacked her. “Around the same time, he received that a call that someone was creating nuisance in the village. On seeing the Inspector, everyone fled but two persons including Vanamamalai started chasing him with sickles. The Inspector had to open fire in self-defence during which Vanamamalai died,” the officer said.
A judicial enquiry had been ordered and police have also registered a case.