Police firing on Bihar flood victims kills 3

Police opened fire on mob protesting against the unfair distribution of relief for flood victims. In Hindi
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Updated on Aug 17, 2004 03:30 PM IST
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PTI | ByReuters, Patna

Police opened fire on an angry mob protesting against the unfair distribution of relief for flood victims of Bihar, killing three people, officials said on Tuesday.

Officials said two people were also injured when police fired at the mob in self-defence on Monday in the village of Una, 185 km from Patna. Six policemen were also hurt, one seriously, they said.

"The police had to resort to firing because the mob had attacked officers distributing relief material," said KP Ramaiya, commissioner of Darbhanga district.

Desperation is growing at the slow delivery of relief in the state, as well as anger at corrupt local officials accused of hoarding the precious supplies of aid which are trickling in.

Ramaiya said flood victims, who had stopped rail and road traffic in the region, were angry because they said the village headman was discriminating unfairly in drawing up a list of flood victims who would qualify for aid.

It was the second time this month police have fired on angry flood victims in Bihar. The State Government said it had ordered an inquiry into the confrontation.

As floodwaters recede in Bihar, rain is falling hard further west, bringing relief to some farmers and misery to others.

The Army was called out in Rajasthan on Monday to distribute food by boat and helicopter to flooded villages, the PTI reported.

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