Araria (Bihar): Two more persons succumbed
to their injuries on Saturday taking the death toll in police firing
on protesters, agitating against a proposed starch plant in
the area, to four, a senior police official said.
Giving the information, state Home department`s
Principal Secretary Amir Subhani and ADG (Headquarters)
Rajbardhan Sharma told reporters in Forbesganj that 27
policemen and five villagers were also injured in the clash
and were being treated at different hospitals.
The two officers are jointly probing the incident
following a directive from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
They confirmed that all four killed in the firing
belonged to the minority community.
"Our investigation into the incident has not yet
concluded as villagers are not cooperating. We will try
to persuade them to cooperate and identify the bodies for
burial," Subhani said.
The police fired ten rounds to disperse a mob opposing
the construction of a starch factory and an approach road in
Forbesganj industrial area yesterday.
The mob had burnt a tractor and damaged vehicles of
police and the sub-divisional magistrate.
Subhani and Sharma would submit the joint inquiry
report to the chief minister.
District Magistrate in-charge Kapileshwar Bishwas had
yesterday said that two persons were killed and another was
seriously injured in the firing.
Opposing the construction, angry locals had broken the
boundary wall of the factory and indulged in heavy stone
pelting and arson. After police failed to use baton charge to
control the situation, they opened fire which resulted in the
death of two persons on the spot.
There was an old dispute between the management of the
proposed factory and villagers over the land acquired for the
construction of the factory and the approach road.
State CPI secretary Badri Narayan Lal demanded that
the state government order a judicial probed by a retired
judge of the High Court into the incident.
The Congress and the LJP condemned the incident and
demanded the state government make ex-gratia payment of Rs 10
lakh to the bereaved families.
Opposition parties have demanded that cases be filed
against policemen responsible for the firing.
Meanwhile, RJD Secretary General Ramkripal Yadav
condemned the incident and demanded an ex-gratia payment of Rs
ten lakh to the dependents of each of the deceased.
"The incident reflected that the police and
administration are beyond the control of the Nitish Kumar
government," Yadav said.
He said a five-member fact finding team of his party
led by the Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly Abdul
Bari Siddiqui would visit the spot tomorrow to make an
assessment of the situation and find out reasons that led to
police taking such an extreme step of firing.
"We are not against construction of any factory.
But the administration must pay due attention to genuine
demands of the people," Ydav said while referring to the
locals protests against construction of an approach road to