Bihar deploys police as flood victims protest
Tuesday, 30 September 2008

REUTERS, PATNA, India- Hundreds of police were deployed in flood-hit Bihar on Monday, a day after soldiers opened fire on angry villagers demanding food and relief, wounding at least a dozen people.

Police said a huge crowd threw stones at an army convoy in Bihar on Sunday, demanding food and shelter.
"The villagers clashed with army personnel, threw stones at them and attacked their vehicles, forcing the army to retaliate," Kuer Singh, a senior police officer said on Monday.
Monsoon rains and burst dams unleashed bouts of flooding in South Asia this year, killing about 1,500 people, mostly in India but also in Nepal.
About 270 flood-related deaths have been reported from Bihar, reeling from the worst floods in recent years, officials said.
At least 100,000 ha (250,000 acres) of farmland were damaged in the state after the Kosi river burst a dam in neighbouring Nepal and flooded areas downstream.
At least 20,000 people are still marooned in the eastern state, mostly villagers who refused to be evacuated, saying they wanted to protect their belongings.
Indian authorities have been widely criticised for acting too late and too slowly after the floods hit. Local media has reported cases of food and aid being siphoned off by corrupt officials.
Flood victims have blocked national highways and chased away government officials regularly to protest against poor relief.

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