Villagers protest police firing, road blockade continues

Berhampur: A day after two people were killed when police opened fire to disperse villagers, the agitators continued with their road blockade, which entered fourth-day today, at Kodala in Orissa`s Ganjam district.

The villagers blocked Aska-Kodala road in protest against the arrest of around 45 people from the area in connection with the July 13 clash in which two persons were killed, police said. They also protested yesterday`s police firing.

Vehicular traffic was disrupted between Aska and several places including the state capital Bhubaneswar due to the road blockade, they said, adding that the protesters also dug up the road at a couple of places.

"The situation is tense but under control. We are trying to form peace committee to restore normalcy and peace in the area," Ganjam district Collector Kishan Kumar said.

Extra police personnel have been deployed in the area to prevent any fresh trouble, he said.

Meanwhile, various political parties including Congress, CPI-M and CPI have condemned the police firing and demanded a judicial probe into the incident. Senior Congress leader and former minister Ramakrushna Patnaik demanded resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Two persons were killed and four others injured yesterday when police opened fire to disperse villagers who turned violent during the road blockade. Police claimed when they tried to clear the area, the mob hurled crude bombs and stones at them.

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