Shutdown in Andhra district to protest police firing
There was a total shutdown in Andhra Pradesh's Srikakulam district on Tuesday, a day after two people were killed when police fired at a crowd protesting against a thermal power plant.
Buses of the state-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) went off the roads while shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed following a call by opposition parties.
Two people were killed and 50 injured on Monday in police firing on people who were protesting an under-construction power plant at Kakarapalli village in the district on the ground that it would destroy the ecology and affect their livelihood.
Director General of Police Aravinda Rao said two people were killed. Earlier reports had put the toll at three.
More than 50 houses were also gutted when police threw smoke bombs at Kakarapalli and Vadditandra villages. Police action has evoked strong condemnation from environmental groups and opposition parties.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have called for the shutdown to protest what they call the brutal police action against villagers.
CPI state secretary K Narayana, CPI-M leader BV Raghavulu and BJP's Bandaru Dattatreya are on their way to the plant.
A day after the clashes and police firing, tension continued at the plant and in surrounding villages. Additional police forces were rushed to provide security to the plant, which resumed work last week after a gap of six months amid protests by the local population.
East Coast Energy Pvt Limited (ECEPL) is setting up the 2,640 MW coal-based thermal power plant at a cost of Rs.12,000 crore.