The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Thursday demanded action against the officials behind the September 19 police firing at Gopalgarh in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan that claimed the lives of nine people.

It also sought compensation for those killed and a government job for a member of each family. After a visit of its delegation to the area and interaction with a cross-section of people, including the sarpanch and police officials, the party came to the conclusion that the atmosphere of peace and communal harmony that prevailed in Gopalgarh over the years was vitiated by this incident.

The delegation was informed that after a compromise was arrived at between two communities over a piece of disputed land, some anti-social elements resorted to spreading rumours intended to create disturbances. People from both sides assembled in large numbers.

“The administration and police officials, instead of checking the veracity of the rumours, resorted to indiscriminate firing at a place of worship. All those killed belong to the Meo community. The district administration and the police are wholly responsible for the killings. Those officials, responsible for ordering the firing, which led to the deaths, should be proceeded against,'' the party said in a statement.

Statements by some senior officials justifying the firing and also stating that no one was killed in the police firing further incensed the people who had borne the brunt of the police attack.