The clash followed an argument between officials of Inland Power Limited (IPL) and locals, who were discussing jobs and compensation-related issues, the police said.
“We have recovered two bodies. Six people have been referred to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences as they sustained serious injuries,” Hazaribagh DIG Upendra Prasad said.The district administration imposed prohibitory orders and a large contingent of police was deployed in the area.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das condemned the incident and sought a report from the DGP.
According to the police, IPL was operating the first phase of the plant (63 MW) since 2014 and another 63 MW was in the offing. Residents of eight villages had been demanding jobs in the plant and adequate compensation for land.
The IPL management called a delegation of six people from the villages for talks on Monday. However, hundreds of people reached the plant gate.
“It appears that an argument took place, following which the mob started throwing stones,” said Hazaribagh DIG Upendra Prasad. “They targeted the BDO, who had to be hospitalised. His vehicle was set on fire. We suspect that there was also some firing from the crowd. The police had to open fire to disperse the mob. Dashrath Mahato, a resident of Bariatu village who was in his 50s, was found dead.” The identity of the second deceased was not confirmed.
More than a week ago, locals had gathered outside the plant with similar demands. The police had then used mild force to disperse them.
“Then the mob was led by one Rajiv Jaiswal. This time too, he was in the lead. We have reason to suspect that he was instrumental in orchestrating the violence. A detailed inquiry will be conducted,” said Prasad.