Villagers demanding land acquisition settlement killed in police firing in Jharkhand, 20 injured

India CSR News Network

HAZARIBAGH (Jharkhand): At least four villagers were killed and more than 20 people, including policemen, were injured when police fired at a mob in Darhi Kala village near Chirudih coal mining project of NTPC Limited under Barkagaon Police station in Hazaribagh, on Saturday, police said.

The NTPC Barkagaon project is facing protest since 2004. In 2010, coal mines in the area were allocated to the NTPC but work could not begin. The entire opposition showing solidarity with the villagers had visited the Barkagaon in July this year.

The villagers supported by the opposition parties were protesting against land acquisition and low compensation amount by the NTPC.

The NTPC had lodged an FIR against former chief minister and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajantantrik (JVM-P) president Babulal Marandi, former central minister and Congress leader Subodh Kant Sahay and others for entering into the mining area without permission.

The agitators have been demanding suspension of mining operation by the NTPC at Chirudih, settlement of land acquisition and payment of compensation to the displaced raiyats as per the provision of the 2013 Land Acquisition Act and employment to each displaced person.

Trouble began at Chirudih when the police team reached a dharna spot and faced stones and lathis by the protesting people, mainly raiyats, a senior police officer said.

As the mob became unruly, to control the situation police used force including firing leading to the death of four and causing injury to more than 10, the officer said.

The injured were admitted to Hazaribagh Sadar hospital and some of them were airlifted to RIMS in Ranchi for better treatment, the officer added.

The injured included several officials from Police and the Block, some of whom were airlifted to (RIMS) Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, Ranchi, by helicopter for better treatment, the police said.

The injured personnel included Kuldeep Kumar Additional SP (Operation), Circle Officer Shailesh Kumar Singh, ASI Amit Singh, police constables Mobil Ram, Krishna Sao, Anil Singh and Sunil Kumar.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das directed state Home Secretary NN Pandey, Cabinet Secretary SS Meena and ADG (CID) Ajay Kumar Singh to conduct a probe and give a report. The Divisional Commissioner and Deputy Inspector General of Police would assist the probe team, an official release said.