In the first casualty in the year-long agitation against the Kudankulam nuclear power project, a fisherman was killed in police firing in Tuticorin on Monday even as protests at the plant site turned violent.
Anthony Raj, from Manapad village, 80 km from Kudankulam, was killed when he joined protesters who tried to storm a police station.
Agitators stopped the Mysore Express for a few hours while others blocked national highways.
The police in Kudankulam, 550 km south of Chennai, lobbed tear gas shells and cane-charged villagers. Two policemen had been taken hostage but were later released.
People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy acivists are chased by the police during a protest against Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project. PTI
Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa appealed for calm but justified the police action.
On the other hand, Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde revived charges that NGOs leading the protests had received foreign funding but refused to name the countries involved.
"Foreign NGOs are supporting this movement. We are aware about the NGOs which are behind it," the minister said.
The Madras high court had on August 31 given the plant the go-ahead.