At least 27 policemen and six villagers were injured in pitched battles early today in West Bengal’s Birbhum district, officials said.

Residents of the Loba village in the Khairasole police station area attacked the police party which went there to recover an earth-moving machine of a project which was forcibly kept by the villagers.

West Bengal Home secretary Basudeb Banerjee told reporters in Kolkata that 27 policemen and six villagers were injured in the clash.

He said that the police did not resort to firing and had shown patience.

Mr. Banerjee said that DVC-EMTA was working on a project and there was some dispute with the local people following which the villagers kept the earth-moving machine.

He said the injured were being treated at Suri hospital and Burdwan medical college hospital.

The Home Secretary said the District Magistrate has been asked to take steps to resolve the problem through dialogue.

Keywords: Birbhum clash