Srikakulam: Bandh to condemn police firing evokes mixed response

A bandh in Srikakulam district called to condemn police-firing in which two persons were killed evoked mixed response Tuesday.

Hyderabad: A bandh in Srikakulam district
called to condemn police-firing in which two persons were
killed evoked mixed response Tuesday.

"The situation in Srikakulam district and in and around
the under construction power plant site in Kakarapalli and
adjoining villages is peaceful and normal after yesterday`s
incident, even though, a bandh is being observed in the
district," Srikakulam district Superintendent of Police KVV
Gopala Rao said.

Political parties and some organisations are observing
bandh in the district to condemn the police firing on a mob
which clashed with police personnel while they were protesting
the construction of a thermal power plant.

They have demanded compensation of Rs 20 lakh each to the
family members of the deceased and also demanded withdrawal of
all police forces from the plant site and villages.

However, the bandh evoked a mixed response, official
sources said.

Two persons were killed and five others sustained
injuries, the SP said, adding 20 policemen also suffered
injuries after villagers attacked them with stones and sticks.

"We have registered cases in connection with the attack
on policemen, but no one has been arrested so far," Rao said.

Meanwhile, Opposition party leaders including CPI (M)
State secretary B V Raghavulu, CPI State secretary K Narayana
and BJP leader Bandaru Dattatreya visited Srikakulam district
and condemned the police firing.

The leaders also visited the injured at a hospital in
Srikakulam town and demanded a judicial probe into the
incident even as state government has ordered a magisterial
enquiry into the circumstances leading to police firing.

The Opposition parties held state Roads and Buildings
Minister D Prasada Rao, who belongs to the district,
responsible for the incident, demanded that he be sacked from
the post. They also sought action against the district
collector and SP and wanted a stoppage of the plant works.

The villagers at Kakarapalli, opposing the setting up of
the Rs 2,640 coal-based power plant by East Coast Energy Pvt
Ltd and have staged dharnas at Vaddithandra and H M Peta and
blocked the routes towards the under construction plant.

For over six months they have protested over continuance
of the project, saying it would pollute the environment.

Seven policemen and four agitators were injured in a
clash on February 25 when the police lifted the agitators who
resorted to disrupting vehicular movement around Kakarapalli.

The protesters say the upcoming thermal power projects in
Srikakulam would pose a big threat to the ecology and harm the
livelihood of people who depended on agricultural activity.