TWO PERSONS are feared dead and several others sustained various degree of gunshot wounds, when a team of police personnel from the Striking Force Unit opened fire on demonstrators, who were protesting against the deplorable nature of the Kenyase-Abirem road yesterday morning.
About 60 police personnel, armed to the teeth, resorted to the firing of live bullets and tear gas into the thick crowd, to scare the demonstrators who had completely blocked the main road linking the Kenyase-Antoa-Kumasi road.
Journalists, students of the Garden City University and passers-by were caught in the cross-fire, which was ignited by the personnel of the Striking Force Unit who had been deployed to the scene as reinforcement.
The crowd had gathered at a GOIL Filling Station in Kenyase to read their petition and disperse, when the Striking Force suddenly showed up and started firing shots indiscriminately into the crowd, amidst the throwing of tear gas.
Running helter-skelter in attempts to avoid being hit by the stray bullets, some of the demonstrators incidentally crossed the paths of the police shots, resulting in the bullets hitting them in various parts of their bodies. Some of them were hit in the forehead, whilst others sustained wounds in the cheek and the neck.
However, two persons, including a man and a woman, fell unconscious in the process and were quickly rushed to a nearby health facility, but reports later received by The Chronicle revealed that they could not survive.
The youth were protesting against the terrible state of the Kenyase road, which has not received any attention over the years from authorities, despite several calls. They prevented vehicles from moving to and fro, compelling passengers and commuters to trot to work.
Though the police defended their action by insisting they fired rubber bullets, some of the exhibits retrieved from the scene clearly revealed the security personnel fired live bullets. The security personnel also claimed they were compelled to fire the shots after the crowd attacked one of their men.