A police official says two people were killed and several others injured when police fired to disperse people protesting the demolition of their homes near a national park in northeastern India.

Mukesh Aggarwal said authorities ordered the demolition of 300 houses in three villages to evict people living on the periphery of the Kaziranga rhino sanctuary to stop rampant poaching of the rare animal.

The villagers pelted the police with stones, injuring around 10 policemen, and security forces responded by firing in which two people were killed, he said.

An estimated 2,500 out of the world's 3,000 one-horned rhinos live in Kaziranga. Powder made from their horns is coveted in many Asian countries as a medicine or an aphrodisiac.