On the 22nd of May 2018, N. Jayaraman was shot dead during the peaceful protest and mobilization against the Copper company, Sterlite, in the south eastern region of Tamil Nadu, India.
Jayaraman, aged 62 at the time of his death was a member of the social movement Makkal Athigaram, or People’s Power, not far from Usilampatti. The state coordinator for Makkal Anthigaram stated that the members of the democratically functioning movement had been targeted for their activism.
The Anti-Sterlite marches sought to bring attention, accountability and even the eventual closure of the Sterlite Copper Company that operates in the region which is believed to be the source of large scale environmental pollution linked to a spike in cancer diagnosis within the local population.
Reports and eye witness accounts during the event note that the Police and other unidentified shooters were targeting protesters in an attempt to oppress the anti-Sterlite mobilization.