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Pune firing: Video footage triggers controversy

Last Updated: Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 22:27

Mumbai/Pune: A raging controversy erupted
over the police firing at Maval, near Pune, in which three
farmers were killed after a video footage aired on Thursday showed
some policemen apparently aiming their guns and shooting at
unarmed protesters.
The firing incident during violent protests on Tuesday
continued to rock both Houses of Maharashtra Legislature for
the third consecutive day with Opposition members creating a
ruckus and calling the police action a "cold-blooded
encounter". They also demanded suspension of police officers
involved in the firing which has sparked an outcry.

Video footage of the incident aired by TV channels
showed the farmers running away as the policemen fired at them
indiscriminately and not in the air.

With questions being raised over the manner in which
police handled the situation, Pune rural Police Superintendent
Sandip Karnik told reporters six of the injured were hit by
bullets below waist and it was unfortunate that three were
shot above waist resulting in fatalities.
The Maharashtra government also sent a report to the
Union Home Ministry explaining the circumstances under which
the police had to resort to firing. The Home Ministry had
sought a report.

Terming the firing as `murder`, Shiv Sena executive
president Uddhav Thackeray demanded resignation of Deputy
Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Home Minister R R Patil.

Police said the firing was prompted after they were
attacked by farmers with stones and their jeeps burnt while
they were negotiating with the farmers` leaders.

Three persons were killed and scores injured in police
firing in Maval near Pune on Tuesday following the protests
over a closed pipeline project to supply water to the
industrial township of Pimpri-Chinchwad town.

The Lower House was adjourned five times while the Upper
House four times as the opposition members shouted slogans
against the government.

Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council
Pandurang Phundkar said "...Even news channels have aired
videos that policemen were seen chasing the farmers."


First Published: Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 22:27

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