Four people were killed in a gunfight between security forces and coal thieves in Baghmara police station area of Jharkhand’s Dhanbad district late on Saturday night, officials said.
Six other were injured in the firing, out of which two have been referred to RIMS, Ranchi for treatment.
All the killed and injured are said to be locals, while the deceased have not been identified yet. Tension prevailed in the area after the news of the incident spread and many locals have gathered at the spot to protest.
According to sources, around a dozen men on two-wheelers reached the Block-2 Benidih Coal Siding of Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL) with the intent of stealing coal.
However, the Quick Response Team of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) tried to stop them but they started pelting stones at the jawans, said sources.
At this, the jawans fired around thirty rounds in retaliation, in which four people died on the spot.
The CISF, in a statement, said that attempts were made to snatch the jawans’ rifles in an encounter to prevent coal theft, due to which four people were killed.
It described those killed as “anti-social elements”.
Dhanbad SP Sanjeev Kumar said that four people died in an encounter in order to stop coal theft. He added that a SIT will be constituted to probe the matter.
The locals blamed the local police for the coal thefts.