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Andhra: 8 killed in police firing
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | July 28, 2007 20:54 IST
Eight persons were killed and eight others injured in police firing and related incidents when the Andhra Pradesh bandh called by the Left parties turned violent in Khammam district on Saturday afternoon.
According to the police, six persons were killed in the police firing, one woman died due to injuries sustained in police lathi charge and another person came under the wheels of an ambulance and died when the ambulance was rushing the injured persons to the district headquarters hospital. Three of the eight injured persons were in a critical condition and they were undergoing treatment at the district hospital at Khammam.
Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy announced a judicial inquiry and suspended the Additional Superintendent of Police Ramesh Babu and transferred the Superintendent of Police Rajeev Kumar Meena.
The incident occurred in Modigunda village in Khammam district when a group of CPI-M and CPI activists and local people took out a rally, pitched tents on the road and set up a blockade in support of the bandh. They turned violent, pelted stones on policemen and tried to attack the local revenue office. The police resorted to lathi charge and later opened fire to quell the riotous mob, a senior state police official said.
Home Minister K Jana Reddy termed the police firing"unfortunate" and conveyed his sympathies to the members of the bereaved families. He said that a high-level inquiry has been ordered in the police firing incident and basing on the inquiry report, action would be taken against police personnel involved if they were at fault
Elsewhere in Andhra Pradesh, sporadic incidents of violence marred the state-wide bandh called by Left parties to protest against indiscriminate police lathi charge on their leaders and activists during the picketing of district collectorates across the state on Thursday as part of their ongoing "Bhoo Poratam."
The Telugu Desam Party and Bharatiya Janata Party also extended their support to the bandh call given by the Left parties.
The CPI-M and CPI leaders demanded the state government to implement the recommendations of Koneru Ranga Rao Committee in toto. The committee was appointed by the Congress government to examine the various land laws and suggest ways and means for improving the implementation of these laws.
The other demands include land for the landless, house-sites for the poor, an independent commission to monitor the distribution of lands in the state, an ombudsman to check irregularities in the weaker sections housing scheme and withdrawal of all the cases registered against the Left leaders and activists and poor people ever since "Bhoo Poratam" was launched on May 2.