Eight killed in firing during Andhra bandh
Andhra CM has suspended the Additional SP and has announced probe in the incident, reports A Das.
Eight people, including two women, were killed and eight others injured when police opened fire and rained
blows on them in Khammam district during the statewide bandh called by the CPM and CPI on Saturday.
The bandh was to protest "police highhandedness" against leaders and cadres of the two parties on Thursday while picketing collectorates in the districts.
Chief Minister Dr YS Rajasekhar Reddy suspended Additional Superintendent of Police Ramesh Babu and announced a judicial enquiry into the firing incident. District SP Rajiv Kumar Meena has also been transferred.
Police said six persons were killed in the firing at Modigonda, about 15 km from the district headquarter town. A CPI woman worker died in a hospital after being hit by police
in Khammam. Another person died after being hit by an ambulance.
About 400 activists took out a rally at Modigonda village, pitched tents on the main road and blocked traffic. The police alleged that a protestor used a mike to instigate the crowd to take on the police party. When the police disconnected the mike, the crowd turned violent and pelted stones and tried to attack the local revenue office. Several policemen were injured including the Circle inspector, who subsequently received 11 stitches.
The Left parties are demanding distribution of government land and house sites among the poor and have launched a "Bhoo Poratam" (land struggle) programme. Since May 2, their cadres have forcibly occupied government lands or surplus land belonging to private people.
The Telugu Desam Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party have extended their support to the Left-sponsored bandh.
Reddy regretted that "eight innocent lives" were lost in police firing. "Every life is very dear and precious. Their lives could have been spared. I am very much pained that some innocent people lost their lives. The incident is unfortunate. We will take a decision about ex-gratia after a preliminary enquiry," he added.