The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Two killed in Orissa firing

Bhubaneswar, April 12: Two persons were killed and six injured in police firing after two communities clashed in the industrial town of Rajgangpur in Orissa’s Sundargarh district last night. A Ram Navami procession was moving through the city when the clash broke out in a minority-dominated area.

Prohibitory orders have been clamped to prevent further clashes, officials said. They said the situation was under control and peace committees have been formed to defuse the tension.

Sources said unidentified men pelted a Hanuman idol with stones and poured water from a rooftop. This triggered a clash, with members of two communities resorting to heavy brick-batting. The processionists then sat on a dharna, demanding action against the culprits.

As the situation went out of control, the police used tear-gas shells and batons to disperse the crowd. As several rounds of blank firing failed to bring the situation under control, police fired at the clashing members.

Fifteen rounds were fired, in which one person was killed after being brought to Ispat General Hospital, government sources in Rourkela said. A magistrate and four policemen were among the injured.

One of those killed was identified as Jay Kumar Nag. Deputy inspector-general (western range), Pradip Kapoor, rushed to the spot. Sundargarh SP Y.K. Jethwa is also camping in the town.

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