Ranchi: One person was killed on Tuesday and
a dozen injured when police opened fire on protesters opposing
an anti-encroachment drive near Islamnagar here. While Union
Minister Subodh Kant Sahai was arrested for staging a
demonstration, the Congress has called for a bandh on Thursday
to protest the firing.
"The police opened fire after a mob threw crude bombs
and stones injuring seven policemen. One person killed in
firing," Senior Superintendent of Police Praveen Kumar, said to a news agency.
The minister who was protesting the anti-encroachment
drive for the last few days and was on a sit-in since 10:00 am
was arrested, the SSP said.
Sahay claimed that the fatality of the firing was a
boy who was sitting before him. "I was shocked," he said
adding that the police also damaged five cars in which his
supporters had accompanied him.
"Since I am a Union minister, I thought someone
(officials) will brief me about it, but the police resorted to
barbaric action instead."
His assistant, Ravikant Kapoor, claimed that the
minister and several of his supporters were injured in the
The anti-encroachment drive was taken up at the
directive of the Jharkhand High Court.
Earlier, Sahay said he had spoken to Chief Secretary S
K Choudhary yesterday urging him not to go ahead with the
demolition drive before making alternative arrangements.
JPCC General Secretary Sailesh Sinha condemned the
firing and accused the government of conspiracy in arresting
the Union minister.
The Congress announced a dawn-to-dusk Ranchi bandh on
Thursday in protest against the police firing and lathicharge
on demonstrators, including Congress leaders.