Protester dies in Saptari firing; 7 hurt in Taulihawa

- JITENDRA KHADGA & MANOJ POUDEL, Saptari/Kapilvastu

Aug 18, 2015-

A protester died in police firing while seven others sustained critical bullet injuries as the protest against six-state federal model turned violent in Saptari and Kapilvastu districts on Tuesday.

Rajiv Raut, 24, of Bhardaha-1 succumbed to injuries as the security personnel opened fire at Bhardaha in Saptari district during the banda enforced by the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha. The victim was shot in the chest.

The incident happened as the enraged protesters attacked the Area Police Office. Four other protesters, who were seriously hurt, are receiving treatment in Biratnagar and Dharan.

Police claimed that they were compelled to act in “self defence” as protesters attacked them. “We fired to contain the situation as the protesters opened fire and hurled petrol bombs at the security personnel,” said DSP Narayan Prasad Chimoriya.

The protesters vandalised two police vans and a vehicle parked on the police office premises. They also ransacked the traffic police post and another police post at Bhardaha Chowk. Deputy Inspector General of Police Madhav Prasad Joshi said protesters fired at the Area Police Office using a 12 bore gun. There are shrapnel marks on the wall of the building.

Meanwhile, the local administration clamped a curfew in Bhardaha. “Curfew has been declared in Bhardaha and its 500 metre radius from 4pm until 5am tomorrow [Wednesday],” said Chief District Officer Birendra Yadav. In Taulihawa, the headquarters of Kapilvastu, three persons sustained bullet injuries in police firing on Tuesday. Police said they fired rubber bullets as “unruly” protesters vandalised and torched government offices.

Six police personnel were also injured in the clash.

The Madhesi Morcha and the Tharuhat Struggle Committee have enforced an indefinite banda in Kapilvastu for a week protesting the federal set-up. The shutdown affected life also in Morang, Sunsari, Jhapa, Siraha, Udaypur, Mahottari and Dhanusha districts.

In Jumla, the indefinite banda demanding a separate Karnali state entered the 10th day on Tuesday with the local administration still enforcing a curfew in the district headquarters.

The curfew was lifted for two hours in the morning to allow the people to buy essentials. Chief District Officer Dipendra Raj Poudel said the order was necessary as the protesters did not stop vandalism and violent demonstration. The locals complained of hardship owing to the protracted restriction.

People defy banda in Dhangadhi

DHANGADHI: Locals defied the protest calling for a Tharuhat state in Dhangadhi on Tuesday. Traffic resumed on the hilly routes whereas marketplaces, educational institutions and industries were also open. Our correspondent in Tikapur said the local chapter of the Federation of Nepali Chamber of Commerce and Industry decided during an all-party meeting to open schools and colleges and to operate markets after 2pm during the banda.

(With inputs from our local correspondents)

Published: 19-08-2015 07:10

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