Ranchi: The protest against anti-encroachment drive in Dhanbad, which was ordered by the Jharkhand High Court, took a violent turn on Wednesday when police opened fire to control a stone-pelting mob, killing three persons. The angry mob torched several buses, machines, offices and police check post.

Dhanbad SP RK Dhan is said to have sustained head injuries in the clash. “We fired nearly 1500 rounds to disperse the mob,” said the police.

According to sources, eight police personnel were injured in the incident and 12 protesters were hurt. An indefinite curfew has been clamped in Dhanbad following the large-scale violence, said the police.

The agitation began around 9:30am on Wednesday when a team of district officials and policemen went to Matmkurya to start the anti-encroachment drive. They had to evacuate 16 houses.

In their pre planned course of action, thousands of people appeared and started throwing stones at the officials. 

The police held MLA Manaan Malik, former minister Bacha Singh, deputy mayor Neeraj Singh, former minister OP Lal and SK Bakshi.