Violence in Bhopal on gas disaster anniversary

Bhopal: Observance of the 27th anniversary of the Bhopal gas disaster took a violent turn today with a number of people, including two senior district officials, injured in stone pelting, while protesters indulged in arson here, police said.

Collector Nikunj Shrivastava, City Superintendent of Police (CSP) H N Guru and some women were among those who suffered injuries in stone pelting by protesters who staged rail roko in support of various demands of the gas tragedy survivors, police said.

Four police jeeps and a dozen motorcycles were set afire during the agitation, they said. A police jeep and an OB van of ETV news channel were damaged in stone pelting.

The agitators resorted to rail blockade at Barkhedi, Aishbagh and Chhola Road railway crossings and squatted on the tracks, disrupting traffic on the busy Delhi-Chennai route. When police asked the protesters to leave, they indulged in stone pelting.

Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Ghanshyam Singh said the traffic was disrupted on the Delhi-Chennai route. Many trains were stranded at Vidisha, Itarsi and Habibganj stations due to the agitation.

Section 144 of CrPC, that bans gathering of five or more persons, was imposed in Aishbagh area, police said. Police force has been deployed in strength in the affected areas.

The rail roko call was given by NGOs working for the rights of the gas affected victims, who are demanding adequate compensation, among other things.