33 injured as villagers clash with police

Amidst allegation of police firing, 33 people, including six villagers and 27 policemen were injured during a clash which broke out after security forces went to Loba village in Birbhum district to recover an earth-moving  machine which the villagers had allegedly snatched from a mining company some seven months ago.

“In all, 27 police personnel and six villagers have been injured. The condition of two of the villagers and some of the policemen is serious. The injured are being treated at Suri Hospital and Burdwan Medical College and Hospital,” State Home Secretary Basudeb Bandopadhyay told reporters.

“The villagers had refused to return earth-moving equipment of the company taken in 2011, following which it lodged a police complaint. When a police force reached the spot to recover the machine Monday night, they were attacked. We have heard the villagers used bows and arrows and bombs,” Bandopadhyay added.

Asked if the police resorted to firing, Bandopadhyay said, “There was no police firing. The district police superintendent informed me that the medical reports of the injured did not mention any remnant of bullets”. Sources in Suri hospital, however, confirmed that the victims had bullet injuries. Joydeep Mazumdar, Secretary of Krishi Jomi Raksha Committee (Save Farmland Committee), the group allegedly behind the clash, told Deccan Herald, “Around 1,000 policemen came to our village early in the morning and suddenly attacked us”.

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