A raging controversy erupted over the police firing at Maval, near Pune, in which three farmers were killed after a video footage aired on Thursday showed some policemen apparently aiming their guns and shooting at unarmed protesters.

The firing incident during violent protests on Tuesday continued to rock both Houses of Maharashtra Legislature for the third consecutive day with Opposition members creating a ruckus and calling the police action a “cold-blooded encounter”. They also demanded suspension of police officers involved in the firing which has sparked an outcry.

Video footage of the incident aired by TV channels showed the farmers running away as the policemen fired at them indiscriminately and not in the air.

With questions being raised over the manner in which police handled the situation, Pune rural Police Superintendent Sandip Karnik told reporters six of the injured were hit by bullets below waist and it was unfortunate that three were shot above waist resulting in fatalities.

The Maharashtra government also sent a report to the Union Home Ministry explaining the circumstances under which the police had to resort to firing. The Home Ministry had sought a report.

Terming the firing as ‘murder’, Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray demanded resignation of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Home Minister R.R. Patil.

Police said the firing was prompted after they were attacked by farmers with stones and their jeeps burnt while they were negotiating with the farmers’ leaders.

Three persons were killed and scores injured in police firing in Maval near Pune on Tuesday following the protests over a closed pipeline project to supply water to the industrial township of Pimpri-Chinchwad town.

The Lower House was adjourned five times while the Upper House four times as the opposition members shouted slogans against the government.

Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Pandurang Phundkar said “...Even news channels have aired videos that policemen were seen chasing the farmers.”