Rumours that two infants would be sacrificed at the project site of an upcoming steel plant plant in Jharkhand's Saraikela-Kharswan district provoked villagers who ransacked the premises and assaulted officials prompting police to fire in the air.

Sub-divisional Officer (Saraikela sub-division) C K Singh said police fired one round in the air after attempts to pacify the villagers failed.

Trouble began after villagers and labourers spotted a man entering the premises of the integrated steel plant at Totatalwadi and Bengadih village, about 55km from Jamshedpur, with two infants aged between three and four years.

They beat him up when he failed to respond to their queries, Singh said. The villagers alleged that a 12-year-old boy had earlier been sacrificed after the company unsuccessfully made efforts to install some equipment in the last few months.

They entered the premises and beat up company employees including the chief construction manager, Singh said, adding seven company employees and three policemen including the officer-in-charge of Kharswan were injured in brickbatting by the villagers.

Singh said the man and the infants had been taken into custody. "Preliminary interrogation of the man revealed that he came to meet his brother, who was working in the company, along with the infants after his wife left him recently."

He said it was yet to be ascertained whether the man actually brought the infants with ill intention. "We are verifying the matter," he said.

Source Times of India