Two more persons succumbed to their injuries today taking the death toll in police firing on protesters, agitating against a proposed starch plant in the area, to four, a senior police official said.
Giving the information, state Home department’s Principal Secretary Amir Subhani and ADG (Headquarters) Rajbardhan Sharma told reporters in Forbesganj that 27 policemen and five villagers were also injured in the clash and were being treated at different hospitals.
The two officers are jointly probing the incident following a directive from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
They confirmed that all four killed in the firing belonged to the minority community.
“Our investigation into the incident has not yet concluded as villagers are not cooperating. We will try to persuade them to cooperate and identify the bodies for burial,” Mr. Subhani said.
The police fired ten rounds to disperse a mob opposing the construction of a starch factory and an approach road in Forbesganj industrial area yesterday.
The mob had burnt a tractor and damaged vehicles of police and the sub-divisional magistrate.
Mr. Subhani and Mr. Sharma would submit the joint inquiry report to the Chief Minister.
District Magistrate in-charge Kapileshwar Biswas had said on Friday that two persons were killed and another was seriously injured in the firing.
Opposing the construction, angry locals had broken the boundary wall of the factory and indulged in heavy stone pelting and arson. After police failed to use baton charge to control the situation, they opened fire which resulted in the death of two persons on the spot.
There was an old dispute between the management of the proposed factory and villagers over the land acquired for the construction of the factory and the approach road.
State CPI secretary Badri Narayan Lal demanded that the State government order a judicial probed by a retired judge of the High Court into the incident.
The Congress and the LJP condemned the incident and demanded the State government make ex-gratia payment of Rs 10 lakh to the bereaved families.
Opposition parties have demanded that cases be filed against policemen responsible for the firing.