Clash after anti-Jaitapur nuke plant activist killed

Saturday, December 18, 2010

RATNAGIRI - Police resorted to a baton-charge to disperse a large crowd of villagers protesting the death of an anti-Jaitapur nuclear power plant activist in an accident in this Maharashtra district Saturday, officials said.

Irfan Yusuf Qazi, 40, was going to pick up his kids from school when his scooter was hit by a police jeep, said Pradeep Indulkar, head of the Konkan Anti-Nuclear Power Project Committee.

The incident occurred in Nate village in Rajapur taluka of Ratnagiri, around 275 kms south of Mumbai.

Qazi was rushed to a primary health care centre around two km away where he succumbed to his injuries within minutes. He was the nephew of Rajapur Congress chief Saifuddin Qazi, a prominent local leader and the entire family is involved in the protests against the upcoming nuclear plant.

Villagers protested against police removing the vehicle from the scene of the accident, alleging that evidence was sought to be destroyed. The agitators stoned and then later set ablaze the police jeep involved in the accident, demanding action against the local police officials, who resorted to the baton-charge.

Undeterred by the caning, the villagers squatted on the main road and blocked traffic for over five hours, said one of the protesters, Amjad Borkar.

Qazi’s body has been taken for autopsy in a district hospital.

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