There is a palpable anger among the residents of narrow lanes leading to Mini Sahaya Puram of Thoothukudi town. As they stare on the stream of visitors, mostly politicians and media persons, visiting the residence of 18-year-old Snowlin who was killed in the police firing on Tuesday.
Her family members and neighbours remember Snowlin as an enthusiastic participant in the anti-Sterlite protest for the last two months and someone who is concerned about others well being.
On Tuesday, Snowlin, who completed plus two this year, joined the six km long rally to besiege the collectorate along with her mother, aunt, sister-in-law and two nieces. "She is a late riser. On the day before the protest, she asked me to wake her by 7:00 am to get ready and join the rally against Sterlite," recalls her mother Vanitha breaking into tears.
She said that all her family members were walking together till VVT signal where the police let loose two bulls into the crowd to create confusion. "We all got split. Snowlin went ahead raising slogans seeking the closure of the Sterlite while we were walking behind her," she said.
Her brother Godwin said he was not aware of his family members joining the protest until he wakes up and found out no one was there. "When I saw the news about the protest, I immediately called Snowlin but she did not attend the call and gave the phone to my wife who kept the phone in her handbag," Godwin who had just returned from Saudi Arabia after the end of the fishing contract said.
He said that he immediately took the bike to get them to safety but it ended in vain. "I could find only my mother with my two daughters. My wife came home in the evening after hiding in a house," he said, adding that he came to know of her death only through the news channel.
Vanitha said that Snowlin entered the collectorate along with other protestors overpowering the police. "She convinced all of us to join the protest but we never thought it will be an end of her. I still could not understand why the police fired at us. All we demanded was to shut down the plant," she said, adding that the police shot on her face.
Godwin said that she wanted to become a lawyer to fight for the people but she is no more to live her dream. "We will continue to fight until her last wish to see the Sterlite plant shut gets fulfilled."
He said his elder brother who went to see her body in the government hospital on Tuesday was beaten up by the police. "Even as he was wailing looking at her dead body, the police beat him up saying why are you crying now after letting her protest in the streets. Is it wrong for a girl to go out and protest peacefully?"