A youth was killed and two others sustained bullet injuries in a police firing when a large crowd gathered outside Ashok Paper Mills (APM) in Hayaghat block and tried to set on fire a truck carrying scrap material reportedly for sale.
The incident took place at around 9pm under APM police station on Saturday night. The incident was said to be triggered over a long-drawn dispute between the APM management and erstwhile mill workers besides local people.
The latter had alleged many times that the APM management was trying to sell off factory's old machineries in the scrap without intimidating the authorities concerned.
The Saturday night incident provided credence to the above allegation, said a local National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leader preferring anonymity.
Meanwhile, police have lodged three FIRs in connection with the incident at the APM police station. The station house officer (SHO) of APM police station, Sriram Choudhary, was placed under suspension after the firing incident.
As a precautionary measure additional reinforcement has been made available at the APM and several other locations in the twin cities of Darbhanga and Laheriasarai.
The deceased, Sushil Sahu was cremated after post-mortem examination on Sunday.
Incidentally, the identities of the two persons injured in the incident were yet to be ascertained.
They were taken away by the crowd, added an official.
Darbhanga district magistrate (DM) Narmadeshwar Lal said the firing incident took place when a large crowd set on fire the truck said to be laden with scrap. "We rushed to the spot soon after getting information about incident. A restive crowd of people had set a truck on fire. We were told that the truck was laden with scrap. The police had to open fire to control the violence," the DM said on Sunday.
Darbhanga range deputy inspector general (DIG) Sudhanshu Kumar, who had also visited the spot on Saturday night, said the situation was under control. "We have ensured to open communication channel with local people and their leaders to create a conducive atmosphere," he said.
When asked what prompted the police to open fire, the DIG asserted that the actual fact would only emerge after an investigation. He said 400 policemen, requisitioned from outside, were deployed at the APM following the incident.