Three Gujarat tribals killed in police firing

Three tribals were killed in police firing Wednesday as an agitation in north Gujarat over forestland rights turned violent.

Two people were killed on the spot while the third succumbed to injuries while being taken to hospital, officials said.

The incident occurred at the office of the forest ranger in the Vijaynagar block of Sabarkantha district, about 150 km north of here, where five tribals were picked up from neighbouring villages in the morning.

Tribal agitators had allegedly occupied 10 hectares of forestland in what is known as the Polo forest area for the last four days. Forest department officials insist that they occupied the land by felling trees and setting fire to shrubs and other vegetation.

As the news of the five tribals' detention spread, people in large numbers converged at the forest office. They had an argument with officials and soon the situation turned violent, resulting in police firing.