National

Kanchanpur local dies in India’s SSB firing

- DR PANTA, PUNARBAS (KANCHANPUR)

Mar 10, 2017-

A 32-year-old man from Ananda Bazaar of Punarbas Municipality-8 in Kanchanpur district died when India’s Seema Sashastra Bal (SSB) allegedly opened fire on locals on Nepal-India border on Thursday.

The victim has been identified as Gobinda Gautam of Punarbas Municipality-8.

He was pronounced dead at CP Hospital, Dhangadi, said police. 

Tension was running high along the border since morning over the construction of a culvert on the Nepali side by locals. A row over culvert construction had continued since long, as the area where the structure was being built is said to be disputed with the Indian side claiming it not to be on Nepali territory. 

Clashes that erupted earlier on Thursday turned nasty and violent later. Six other locals have been injured, one seriously, in the clash. 

Locals claimed that they protested after SSB personnel entered the Nepali territory on Wednesday night and beat them indiscriminately. 

Tension reached its peak after SSB personnel and locals from the bordering Indian settlement had a dispute with Nepalis. The locals from Indian side and SSB personnel claimed that “certain Indian territory had been encroached upon while constructing the culvert by the Nepalis”. Punarbas locals claimed that “our own security personnel failed to take action even after the SSB opened fire”. 

The family of deceased Gautam has warned that they will not receive the body unless the guilty SSB personnel are punished and the victim is declared a martyr. 

Security personnel from Nepal Police and the APF in large numbers were deployed in the area. 

Later in the evening, officials from two sides reached a five-point agreement to settle the border dispute—the main cause of Thursday’s scuffle. 

The Indian bordering area where the incident took place on Thursday is in Uttar Pradesh which shares a 600km long open border with Nepal. 

Meanwhile, the Embassy of India in Kathmandu has denied firing by Indian security forces. 

“In response to queries by local media regarding disturbances near the border at Ananda Bazaar, Kanchanpur, it is categorically denied that there was any incident of firing by Sashastra Seema Bal,” the embassy said in a statement. “There is a need to maintain calm and let the survey officials of both sides discuss the location of border pillars before any construction work is undertaken,” it said, adding: “District officials have been directed to cooperate to defuse the situation, said the statement after the incident.” 

Govt takes up issue with Delhi

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said on Thursday that it has taken up the Kanchanpur incident, in which a Nepali was killed in firing by Indian security forces, with the government of India. Gobinda Gautam of Punarbas, Kanchanpur, was killed in firing by India’s Sashastra Seema Bal at Ananda Bazaar in the district. Issuing a statement, MoFA said the government of Nepal has expressed serious concern about the incident and taken the matter up with the Indian government through higher diplomatic level with a demand to launch a prompt investigation and bring guilty to book. “The government of Nepal has also called for taking necessary steps to bring the situation under control so that no further untoward incident takes place in the said border area,” MoFA said.

Published: 10-03-2017 08:39

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