Bhubaneswar : Thousands of villagers in Orissa's Keonjhar district Monday clashed with cops and torched two police jeeps protesting the alleged kidnapping and death of a minor girl, officials said.
Five-year-old Rasmita Sahu went missing on June 8 from Alkania village, some 140 km from here. Her parents had lodged a police complaint, said Gurudas Kundu, a police official.
Villagers found Rasmita's body from a drain Sunday and alleged that she was kidnapped and killed due to police neglect. They said prompt action could have saved her life.
Around 3,000 angry residents of Alkania and neighbouring villages hurled stones at a 15-member police team that had come to take the girl's body for post mortem, Kundu told IANS.
"The irate villagers then torched two police jeeps, forcing us to baton charge them. But we had to eventually fire bullets in the air to bring the situation under control," he said.
Seven policemen sustained injuries, but none of the villagers was wounded, Kundu claimed. Administration and police officials have rushed to the village to defuse tensions there, he said.