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Victims of the 2008 Kosi flood resorted to violence in Birpur town on February 18 when the administration failed to give a straightforward answer regarding compensation money. Flood victims are entitled to a compensation of Rs 10,000 to Rs 55,000. Fearing their reconstruction package was going into the hands of middlemen, villagers ransacked five police vehicles and pelted stones on the police.
Policemen fired 20 rounds injuring over a dozen villagers; six police personnel were also injured. “It’s going to be one and a half years and we have not received a single rupee,” villagers said. They were angry as officials in the sub-divisional office failed to give a clear-cut answer on when they would get compensation. “It’s true middlemen are trying to strike a deal with villagers,” district magistrate of Supaul, Kumar Ravi said. Compensation distribution will be expedited, he said.