3 killed in Saptari police firing during UML's programme
- UML leaders safely escorted out of programme venue
- Police, Morcha cadres clash near UML campaign venue
Mar 6, 2017-
Three persons were killed when police opened fire to contain the situation after a violent clash with Madhesi Morcha cadres who were trying to foil CPN-UML’s programme in Rajbiraj of Saptari district on Monday.
The CPN-UML was organising its programme at Gajendra Narayan Industrial Area in the southern town as part of its Mechi-Mahakali awareness campaign to prepare for the upcoming local level elections.
The Ministry of Home Affairs confirmed the deaths.
Spokesperson at the Ministry Bal Krishna Panth told the Post that the Ministry has learnt from the ground sources that three people died in police firing.
He, however, said the Ministry could not establish the identity of deceased people due to obstructions from the Madhesi Morcha cadres.
According to the security sources, those killed in the incident are Sajjan Meheta, Pitambar Mandal and Ananda Sah—all from Saptari.
Mehata of Maleth-2, who had sustained bullets in his head, succumbed moments later. Mandal breathed his last while undergoing treatment at BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS) in Dharan while Sah died on his way to BPKIHS.
Security personnel resorted to firing after the agitating supporters of Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) tried to foil the CPN-UML's programme being held Rajbiraj today.
Police said the protesters who were earlier keeping a distance of about 100 meters started making attempts to enter the venue, thereby propelling security personnel to open fire.
The SLMM cadres picketed the campaign venue in Gajendra Narayan Singh Industrial Area in the district. The programme originally scheduled to be held at Raj Rangashala of Rajbiraj was later shifted to Industrial Area to avert possible clashes with the regional parties.
On the other hand, Morcha local leaders have alleged that UML mobilised its cadres in the crowd to incite violence.
Police had earlier lobbed tear gas shells to contain the angry mob of Morcha cadres. Later they resorted to firing.
The clash between police and SLMM cadres has left over a dozen of protesters injured. Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital source informed that more than a dozen of protesters have been injured and among them four are serious. Gravely injured 11 people have been referred to Biratnagar and Dharan for further treatment.
It is learnt the violence took place after UML concluded its programme. The Morcha cadres became more violent when UML Chairman KP Oli was addressing the assembly. UML leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal, Lal Babu Yadav, Satya Narayan Mandal, were among the others to address the assembly.
UML leaders including Chairman Oli were safely escorted out of programme venue amidst tight security. The tension escalated throughout the programme.
Throughout the day, various places of Saptari district remained tense as Morcha cadres took to the streets burning tyres at major thoroughfares.
The district administration said it had deployed around 1,500 security personnel in view of potential clashes.
Published: 06-03-2017 16:28
- Mechi-Mahakali campaign