Indian national killed in Birgunj police firingA protester, who was later identified as an Indian national, died in police firing in Birgunj on Monday
A protester, who was later identified as an Indian national, died in police firing in Birgunj on Monday. The incident followed immediately after security forces cleared protesters from the Birgunj-Raxaul border point that was being obstructed by the agitating activists of Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM).
The deceased man was identified as 19-year-old Aashish Ram aka Sonu, a resident of Naga Road from the bordering Indian town of Raxaul. Ram succumbed to bullet injuries in front of Shankaracharya Gate, about 400 metres north of Miteri Bridge near Nepal-India border point.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Raju Babu Shrestha at the Parsa District Police Office said security personnel opened fire as the protesters were trying to attack the border police post at Inarwa.
“A protester who was throwing stones at police was shot. Eight security personnel also suffered injuries,” SP Shrestha said. Police claimed though the security personnel at the scene had exercised maximum restraint until the protesters tried to attack the police post.
Witnesses informed that the protesters also hurled Molotov cocktails and acid at the security personnel.
The SLMM supporters, however, denied police claim and accused the security agencies of suppressing their peaceful protest.
“Police fuelled tension by charging batons on the protesters at a time when the talks between the Madhesi parties and the government was progressing positively,” said Sanghiya Samabesi Madhesi Morcha leader Rajesh Man Singh.
Birgunj town remained tense throughout the day as the SLMM supporters took to the street to protest police crackdown on their sit-in protest at Miteri Bridge.
They staged demonstrations in several parts of the town, including Chhapkaiya, Nagawa, Murli, Ghantaghar and Powerhouse Chowk. Eight protesters were injured as the security personnel fired rubber bullets at Nagawa and Ghantaghar.
Meanwhile, the local administration clamped indefinite curfew in Birgunj Bazaar area from 3pm. Chief District Officer Keshav Raj Ghimire said the curfew order was issued to prevent any untoward incidents.
Police had intervened the sit-in at the Miteri Bridge at around 4:45am and dispersed the protesters to resume cross-border transportation. The security personnel had also detained five protesters, including two Indian nationals, who were part of the sit-in protest. Around 400 Indian vehicles that were stuck
in Birgunj had entered
Raxaul after police cleared the SLMM activists from the border point.
According to some local witnesses, the Indian security personnel had helped Nepal Police remove the demonstrators from the border point until the Indian vehicles had entered Raxaul. Arun Kumar Rajat, the superintendent at Raxaul Customs of India, had even come to Miteri Bridge along with other officials to move the Indian vehicles to Raxaul. Once the Indian vehicles reached Raxaul, the SLMM activists regrouped to occupy the border point and the no-man’s-land. This time, the witnesses said, the Indian security personnel did not stop the protesters.
The SLMM activists reoccupied Miteri Bridge after 10 am and they started attacking the police personnel present at the scene. The protesters also vandalised police posts in Langadi and Mahuban, and uprooted the statue of martyr Tej Bahadur Amatya at Gandakchowk in Birgunj.