12 injured in Birgunj in a clash over food reliefIn Rautahat’s Chandrapur, political parties and senior government officials are exerting pressure on local representatives to provide food relief to their friends and families.
At least 12 people were injured on Wednesday when a clash broke out among the locals of Bindabasini village in Birgunj over who should be included in the government’s Covid-19 food relief programme.
The local government officials had reached the village to collect the names of the families who need food support as the country is under a lockdown to stop the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Birgunj Metropolitan City has announced a food relief worth Rs 125,000 for the poor families living in Ward 19. Before distributing the relief, the city office had mobilised its officials to Bindabasini village to collect the names of the recipient families.
“Two committees were formed on Tuesday to identify the recipients. The committee members were collecting names and details of the recipient families in the village when two groups of locals started arguing. Soon they came to blows in front of the committee members,” Santosh Tiwari, the ward chairman, said.
Police have detained five persons involved in the clash.
The injured villagers were taken to Narayani Hospital, many of them with head injuries and fractured limbs.
Meanwhile, the local representatives of Chandrapur Municipality in Rautahat faced difficulty while distributing relief materials, as some people from the well-to-do families also demanded relief handouts.
“Many poor families are struggling to manage two square meals since they are out of work. But some people who have enough to survive have also come forward claiming relief,” Sanjaya Kafle, chairman of Chandrapur Ward 5, said.
There have also been complaints about local political leaders and senior government officials exerting pressure on the local representatives to include the names of their friends and relatives on the relief beneficiary list.
Kafle said the municipal office was providing food relief to the poor and vulnerable people in all 10 wards.
Each family will get rice, lentils, potatoes, salt and cooking oil depending on the number of the family members during the lockdown period.