Aurangabad (Bihar): Around 25 people were
injured when farmers fought pitched battles with the police
and torched the engine and some bogies of a train near
Aurangabad railway station today to protest acquisition of
their land for a thermal power station, police sources said.
Auranagabad Superintendent of Police Vivek Raj Singh
said farmers protesting against the acquisition of 1700 acres
of arable land by the state government for the 2000 mw power
project by NTPC squatted on railway tracks near the station.
When the police arrived at the scene, the protestors
turned violent and a pitched battle between the two sides
erupted, he said.
The mob set fire to the engine of empty Varanasi-Gomoh
passenger train when it arrived at the spot and then to some
bogies prompting the police to first baton charge them and
then burst tear gas shells.
Failing to disperse mob, the police then used water
cannons, the SP said.
Director General of Police (DGP) Neelmani denied an
earlier report that one person was killed in the police action
and said an ailing man Ramat Prajapati (55) died at his home
during the agitation.
Even the family members of the deceased had admitted the
fact that Prajapati died because of ailment, the DGP said.
The principal secretary in the Energy department,
Ravikant, when contacted, said the power plant was coming up
on 2500 acres, at Nabinagar, about 25 km from Aurangabad.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad condemned the police action and
despatched a fact-finding team of his party headed by Leader
of the Opposition Abdul Bari Siddiqui.