Two killed in police firing in Odisha

Berhampur: At least two persons were killed when police opened fire to disperse a violent mob, which attacked them at a village in Odisha's Ganjam district on Saturday, official sources said.

Fifteen others, including five police personnel, were injured in the clash when the mob threw stones and fought a pitched battle at Phasipada village under Kodala police station, about 60 km from here, they said.

The police opened fire after a lathi-charge and teargas proved ineffective in dispersing the mob, a senior police official said.

Two persons, Purna Pala and Rabi Pala, were injured in the police firing and were taken to the MKCG Medical Hospital where doctors declared them dead, officials and doctors said.

The policemen were returning after rescuing three persons, including a woman, held by the villagers for allegedly practising witchcraft, DIG of Police (Southern Range) R K Sharma said.

Besides the DIG, SP (Ganjam) Rajesh Pandit along with reinforcements rushed to the spot.

The villagers had tonsured four persons and pulled out their teeth accusing them of practising witchcraft. One of the victims escaped last night and informed the police, the police said.

Most of the injured were admitted to the local hospital at Kodala, while some others with serious injuries were taken to MKCG Medical College Hospital, police said. The situation was tense, but under control, they said.