Four killed in Jharkhand police firing, curfew imposed
Four people were killed and more than 25, including a senior police officer, were injured in clashes as protests against the demolition drive in Jharkhand turned violent in the coal city of Dhanbad.
Ranchi: Four people were killed and more than 25, including a senior police officer, were injured in clashes as protests against the demolition drive in Jharkhand turned violent in the coal city of Dhanbad.
Vikash Singh, Dinesh Handi and another protester were killed in police firing and one of the injured later died at the Bokaro hospital.
At least 13 people sustained bullet injuries, according to police.
"Curfew has been imposed in municipal corporation area of Dhanbad" Umesh Singh, Deputy Inspector General of Police for Bokaro range said.
Police said they opened fire after the protesters turned violent.
The trouble began at Matkuria locality of Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BBCL) in Dhanbad. Around 1,100 people living on the BCCL land illegally were served notice in the past to vacate the place.
Thousands of people gathered at the place to protest the demolitions. The scene turned violent as the protesters started pelting stones at the policemen.
According to a police official, they opened fire after the crowd refused to disperse.
Dhanbad Superintendent of Police RK Dhan and seven other policemen were injured during the clashes, the official said.
Several protesters, including Dhanbad`s Congress legislator Mannan Mallik, were arrested and removed from the site.
In Ranchi, Chief Minister Arjun Munda held a high level meeting attended by state police chief GS Rath and others.
Munda has ordered a probe in the incident.
The opposition Congress and other parties have condemned the firing.
"The state government is adopting an inhuman attitude in the demolition drive. We have called shutdown in Dhanbad on Thursday," Shailesh Sinha, Jharkhand Congress spokesperson, said.
Over the last 45 days more than 5,000 illegal structures have been demolished in Jharkhand under a directive from the high court, affecting more than 120,000 people.
The court has rejected a government plea to stay the demolitions.
Five people, four in Ranchi and one in Dhanbad, have died of shock after they were served eviction notices.
Two people were killed in police firing in Ranchi early this month during anti-demolition protests.