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Chief Minister On US Visit As Jharkhand Hit By Violence

The Union Home Ministry has been briefed about the situation and two battalions of Central Reserve Police Force are being sent to the troubled area

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Three persons were on Saturday killed while several sustained bullet injuries in police firing in Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand. Additional Superintendent of Police and Circle Officer had to bear the wrath of locals and were airlifted to Ranchi for treatment in a critical condition.

Villagers were on dharna (sit-in) under the leadership of local MLA Nirmala Devi and her husband Ex-MLA Yogendra Sahu since September 15 at Barkagaon area of Hazaribagh district. They were protesting against the hazardous mining by National Thermal Power Corporation. The DC and SP of Hazaribagh were negotiating with the protestors but their attempts to evolve some amicable solution remained abortive. Encouraged by all out support from the local administration, the NTPC management resolved to install more mining equipments at the site much against wishes of the protesters and fueled the crisis further. Incidentally, protesters were accused of disrupting movements at the nearby National Highway too.

However, in view of on-going Navratra and Durga Puja, the local administration asked the protestors to suspend their agitation. But they refused to comply with the order. Consequently, the police had to exercise coercive measures and arrested the MLA and her husband in the morning. The police vehicle carrying the MLA and her husband was attacked by locals near Baragala village and they took both the leaders with them. Additional SP, Director DRDA and CO who were traveling in other vehicles were also dragged out and taken to nearby field. While Director DRDA managed to escape, Addl SP Kuldeep Kumar and CO Sailesh Kumar were roughed up brutally. Two more policemen also sustained serious injuries in altercation with locals and have been admitted at a hospital in Ranchi. Locals are claimed to be equipped with traditional weapons.

In order to save the officers, Director DRDA ordered the force to open fire that claimed three lives and injured around thirty persons.

As per Director General of Police, D.K. Pandey, villagers managed to take away body of one of the victims. They are protesting with the dead body of Abhishek Kumar at Barkagaon and situation is tensed, he said. He confirmed that officers with serious injuries had been airlifted to Ranchi for treatment and condition of Sailesh Kumar is critical.

He claimed that attackers belonged to one Tiger Sena active in the area. He said that they were involved in illegitimate activities and worked under the tutelage of Yogendra Sahu and his MLA wife.

The DGP informed that the Union Home Ministry has been apprised of the situation and permission has been granted to send two battalions of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to the spot. He claimed that beside local DC and SP, a few senior officials have been also been deputed at the spot to monitor the situation and additional battalions of CRPF that have been rushed to the spot after obtaining sanction from the Centre are likely to reach Barkagaon by late evening.

Incidentally, Chief Minister, Raghubar Das and his team of high officials, including Chief Secretary, Additional Chief secretary, Principal Secretary and secretary, are on a US tour, leaving behind simmering discontentment among villagers against hazardous mining work by National Thermal Power Corporation.

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jharkhand Raghubar Das ntpc