Four villagers were killed and more than ten people, including policemen, were injured when police fired at a mob in Darhi Kala village near Chirudih coal mining project of NTPC under Barkagaon Police station in Hazaribagh, on Saturday, police said.
Trouble began at Chirudih when the police team reached a dharna spot and faced stones and lathis by the protesting people, mainly raiyats.
Senior police officer MS Bhatia said the deaths occurred after "hundreds" of villagers attacked policemen. At first, the police used tear gas and rubber bullets, but were forced to open fire when protests intensified.
The agitators have been demanding suspension of mining operation by the NTPC at Chirudih, settlement of land acquisition and payment of compensation to the displaced raiyats as per the provision of the 2013 Land Acquisition Act and employment to each displaced person.
The injured were admitted to Hazaribagh Sadar hospital and some of them were airlifted to RIMS in Ranchi for better treatment, the officer added.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das directed state Home Secretary NN Pandey, Cabinet Secretary SS Meena and ADG (CID) Ajay Kumar Singh to conduct a probe and give a report.
(With inputs from Reuters)
(Feature image is representational / Source: Jharkhand police recruitment board)