10 cops hurt in clash during bid to prevent coal theft

kolkata: At least 10 policemen, including two officers, sustained injuries as a clash broke out between the cops and villagers, while the former attempted to prevent coal theft at Khoyerasol in Birbhum on Friday.

According to sources, cops had received information about coal being illegally excavated from the Gangarampur coal mine.

They were tipped off that the coal was stored somewhere at Nawpara village. Acting on a tip off about coal smugglers from Jharkhand being hiding in the village, police went there around 12:30 pm.

Villagers started pelting stones at the police personnel. When police retaliated, a clash broke out.

Meanwhile, a few rounds of bullets were fired which hit around five villagers. But, it couldn't be confirmed that who had fired the bullets.

Though villagers alleged that police open fired, Birbhum Police denied the allegation. During the clash, around 10 cops including Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Khoyerasol and Kankartala police station, Sanchayan Banerjee and Jahidul Islam, suffered injuries.

Initially, police backed off but later a large contingent of force was sent to conduct raid at the village to nab the coal smugglers.

Police later resorted to lathicharge. Later, tear gas shells and rubber bullets were fired to disperse the violent mob.

Though the situation was controlled by Friday evening, tension is still prevailing in the village.

Till last reports came in, police pickets had been set up and a large contingent of police force had been deployed to maintain the law and order there.

Police also seized two coal-laden dumpers from the village.Probe is on.

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