While the toll in Wednesday’s clash during an anti encroachment drive in Dhanbad increased to four, an indefinite curfew continued to be in force in the coal town, crippling mining activities.
A critically injured Sanjay Paswan died late last night, deputy inspector general of Police (Coalbelt) Umesh Kumar Singh told PTI. Of the 21 injured, the condition of one more person was stated to be critical, he said.
Meanwhile, mining activities at Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) and Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) were affected completely, sources in the public sector units said.
The Delhi-Kolkata road route was paralysed following a road bloackade put up by Marxist Coordination Committee MLA Arup Chatterjee and his supporters, on NH-32 in protest against Wednesday’s police firing.
Meanwhile, 27 persons who were arrested were on Friday remanded to judicial custody for 14 days. These included former ministers Bacha Singh and O P Lal (in undivided Bihar), Congress MLA Manan Mallick and deputy mayor Niraj Singh.
Deputy Commissioner Sunil Kumar Burnwal told newsmen that essential services like supply of water, milk and medical services have been exempted from the indefinite curfew which was imposed last evening, after large scale violence at Matkoria area where both the police and the locals fought a pitched street battle during anti-encroachment drive.
Three persons were killed and 22 others, including the superintendent of police, were injured in the clash after which the indefinite curfew was clamped in the town.
The clash broke out when residents allegedly resisted demolition of their houses at Matkoria under Kenduadih police station. The residents, who allegedly encroached upon the land of Bharat Coking Coal Limited, had been served notice to vacate the area and Wednesday was the date for the demolition work, the police said.
The anti-encroachment drive has been going on at various places in the state for the last four weeks after the high court directed the administration to implement its orders passed between 2003 and 2006 against encroachment of government land.
On April 5 two persons had been killed and 20 others injured when police opened fire on protesters of anti-encroachment drive at Islam Nagar in Ranchi.