Two persons were killed and five injured when the police opened fire to control villagers protesting against the setting up of a thermal power plant in Andhra Pradesh's Srikakulam district on Monday.
"Two persons were killed and five sustained injuries in the incident at Vadditandra village," said Srikakulam Superintendent of Police K V V Gopal Rao, adding several policemen had been injured in the incident.
The situation at the project site continues to be tense since the past two days after the policemen disrupted a fast undertaken by some fishermen and villagers on Saturday. East Coast Energy Pvt Ltd is developing a 2,640 MW Super Critical Coal fired power project in Santhabommali Mandal.
The police said they had to open fire after the situation spiralled out of control due to heavy stone pelting from protestors.
"We asked the local police not to use real bullets. We told them to use rubber bullets to lower the intensity. The agitators attacked the police with sticks and rods. There was tension in that area. We will investigate the issue," Director General of Police Aravinda Rao told reporters in Hyderabad.
This is the second such incident of protestors being killed while demonstrating against the setting up of power plants in coastal Andhra. Three persons were killed in police firing when a large group of farmers and fishermen protested against the setting up of a power plant by the NCC last July.
ECEPL said the project had received all mandatory and regulatory clearances.
"There are no Relocation & Rehabilitation issues with the project. In compliance with NEAA (National Environment Appellate Authority) order, the construction activity for the power plant within the project site is limited to 1317 acres including the green belt," the company said.
Meanwhile, Opposition Telugu Desam, Communist Party of India and Lok Satta condemned the police firing on the villagers.
Terming it as unfortunate, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu said public opinion should be taken into consideration while taking up such projects.
Demanding action against the policemen responsible for the firing, CPI state secretary K Narayana said the police camps in the villages should be removed immediately.