The Andhra Pradesh government on Tuesday issued a statement in the Assembly stating that the firing at the power project site in Srikakulam district took place when around 700 people staging a road blockade attacked the police with stones, iron rods and sticks besides setting on fire a police vehicle
This comes in the wake of OppositionÃ¢Â€Â™s demand that the government make a statement on yesterdayÃ¢Â€Â™s firing incident in which two people were killed and several injured.
The violent protests by local fishermen against the 2,640 mega watt super critical thermal power project being set up by Hyderabad-based East Coast Energy Private Limited started again on February 17 when protestors dug the roads leading to the project site and assaulted a revenue official, who reached the site to assess the situation. Similar incidents occurred on February 25 and February 27 resulting in clashes between agitators and the police. It later led to large-scale violence at Kakarapalli village in Santha Bommali mandal yesterday. Several huts in the village were burnt when police fired teargas shells.
"Police on seeing the menacing crowd resorted to lathi charge and fired plastic pellets against the crowd who did not relent. Later, the police fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. In the firing, one died at the site and another person died from injuries at home" the statement said.
A company release said: "The company is committed to the sustainable development and is working wholeheartedly with the state government to restore normalcy in the area." The delivery of equipment has started and nearly Rs 1,500 crore has been spent on the project, which has got all the mandatory approvals.