CHENNAI: A fisherman was killed as protests against a nuclear plant in Kudankulam turned violent today.
Police opened fire when a crowd of anti-Kudankulam protestors attacked a police checkpost in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin district.
"A mob of around 400 people protesting against the baton charging of fishermen protesting against the nuclear power plant in Kudankulam attacked a check post at Manapaddu village," a police official told IANS.
There were four police personnel at the check post, including one women constable.
"Three of the police officials, including the policewomen, were injured and the one remaining policemen opened fire in self-defence, resulting in one death," said a police official.
The incident happened at around 4.45 pm.
Meanwhile in Chennai, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has appealed for peace from the protestors, and has requested them not to fall prey to anti nuclear lobby.
Jayalalithaa has announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of the dead protestor.
Earlier in the day, police had to fire tear gas to break up protests on a beach near the nuclear power project, due to fire up within weeks despite months of opposition.
Demonstrators waded into the crashing waves or escaped in fishing boats as hundreds of police advanced, television images showed. Rocks were thrown at police and several injuries were reported on both sides.
Some 4,000 activists, mainly women and children from fishing villages, had camped on the beach about a mile from the Kudankulam power station to complain about the threat of radiation from the plant near the southern tip of the country.
First conceived in 1988, the Russian-built plant was supposed to have gone into operation last year, but protesters surrounded the compound after an earthquake and tsunami destroyed Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, spewing radiation and forcing mass evacuations.
They fear a similar accident in a region that was hard hit by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
Last month, the government's Atomic Energy Regulatory Board gave clearance for fuel to be loaded into one of the plant's two reactors, one of the last steps before producing power.
Kudankulam will provide 2 gigawatts of electricity -- enough to power millions of homes and relieve a power crisis in Tamil Nadu. Further reactors are planned. (With inputs from Agencies)
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