Kolkata: Two people were killed and 22 people, including 16 policemen, injured as clashes between a mob and security forces over illegal electric connections in West Bengal's South 24 Parganas district on Thursday led to police opening fire.

"Two people have died. But whether they died in police firing or due to bomb injuries will be known only after post mortem is done," District Superintendent of Police LN Meena said over phone.

One of the dead was a teenaged school girl. The other victim was a 32-year-old woman.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said authorities had made appeals over public address systems in the last three days in the Nainan village asking people not to take electricity connection illegally.

Power department officials went to the area with the police on Thursday afternoon and met with strong resistance from the locals, who fought a pitched battle with the law keepers.

Bombs and stones were used and government vehicles burnt down by the mob.

Sixteen police personnel including some officers sustained injuries.

"Police started beating us up. They resorted to lathi charge and then fired," said a villager.
"It's an unfortunate incident. It is sad and shameful. More precautions should have been taken.

If police had indeed fired as the situation had worsened to such an extent, then also we will probe whether police conformed to all rules like taking prior magisterial permission before resorting to firing," Banerjee said.

"And we will also inquire whether the victims died of bomb injuries or in firing," she said.
Banerjee said she was not informed of the tension building at the spot since the afternoon.
"I have sought an explanation about this. Had I known, I would have defused the tension in some other way," she said.

Banerjee also alleged that opposition parties were behind the incident.

(Agencies)