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March 19, 2013

Tamil students call for Sri Lanka war probe

Hundreds of demonstrators reportedly arrested in India's Tamil Nadu state.

Students shout slogans from inside a bus during a protest in the southern Indian city of Chennai March 18, 2013. The line of text on the sign reads, "Students Struggle Committee for Tamil Eelam". REUTERS/Babu

More than 500 students were reportedly arrested in the Indian city of Chennai on Monday in protests calling for a probe into Tamil civilian deaths during Sri Lanka's civil war.

For the past eight days, students in southern India's Tamil Nadu state have taken to the streets to demand an independent investigation into what they call Sri Lanka's "planned genocide" of Tamils during that country's civil war. The UN estimates that 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed in the final five months of the 25-year conflict, which ended in 2009.

Anger increased when the UK's Channel 4 released photographs suggesting that the 12-year-old son of the leader of Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was murdered.

Shortly after, Tamil students launched a hunger strike in protest. Their blog has a map of demonstrations in southern India: