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Judicial probe ordered into police firing deaths in Kahalgaon
Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | January 19, 2008 21:41 IST
The Bihar government has ordered a judicial probe into the killing of four people in police firing in Kahalgaon town in Bihar's Bhagalpur district during a protest.
The state government has announced compensation of Rs lakh to the families of the victims and transferred four officials, including the officer in charge of the Kahalgaon police station, deputy superintendent and SDO.
Hundreds had gathered outside the National Thermal Power [Get Quote] Corp plant in Kahalgaon on Friday to protest an acute power shortage when the police opened fire on the crowd, killing three people.
Hundreds of people once again took to the streets on Saturday to protest Friday's killings. The angry mob set ablaze a vehicle, blocked roads and pelted stones at policemen deployed in the town to control the situation. The police opened fire in retaliation, killing one person, while another was injured seriously.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar held a meeting with cabinet members and top officials on Saturday to assess the situation.
Acute power shortages have sparked protests in many parts of the state. According to energy department officials, at present, the state has a requirement of 1,500-1,600 MW of power. Though the central allocation is 1,170 MW, the state has so far received only 700-800 MW from the central pool, officials said.
Faced with a severe power crisis and violent protests, Bihar's energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav sent a strongly worded letter to the Central government alleging discrimination against the states not ruled by the United Progressive Alliance.
Rashtriya Janata Dal state president Abdul Bari Siddiqui announced that party workers and leaders would observe a black day across the state on Sunday to protest the deaths.