Three protesters killed in police firing in Saptari


Mar 7, 2017-At least three persons died in Maleth of Saptari district on Monday after police resorted to firing after a clash between them and protesters of the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM). 

Eight people have sustained bullet injuries. DIG Ramesh Bhattarai of the Eastern Regional Police Office confirmed deaths of three persons. 

The deceased have been identified as Sanjan Mehata of Maleth-2, Aananda Sah of Maleth-4 and Pitambar Mandal of Rajbiraj-9. Mehata died on the spot while two others died while undergoing treatment at BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences. 

The SLMM supporters were protesting against a mass meeting of the CPN-UML as part of its “Mechi-Mahakali National Campaign” targeting local level elections. 

The Ministry of Home Affairs confirmed that three persons died in Maleth. “We have received information from the ground that three people succumbed to bullet injuries,” Home Ministry Spokesperson Bal Krishna Panthi told the Post. 

According to Gajendra Mandal, central secretary of SLMM-affiliated Madhes Samajbadi Party, Dilip Yadav, Surendra Mandal, Digambar Yadav, Laxman Yadav, Parmeshwor Mandal, Jitendra Sah, Indra Sah and Birendra Mahato were seriously injured in police firing. Police said they were forced to open fire when protesters tried to enter the UML’s programme venue at Gajendra Narayan Singh Industrial Area in Maleth of the district. Earlier, the UML’s mass meeting in Inaruwa had passed off peacefully.

But when the UML took its poll campaign to Maleth, number of protesters swelled in surrounding areas. Security had been beefed up to avert any untoward situation. 

Late in the afternoon, the protest turned violent, according to security personnel, when UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli was addressing the party’s mass meeting. The area where police opened fire on protesters is about 400 metres from UML’s programme venue. 

In a press statement issued after its meeting in Capital, the Morcha claimed that four protesters had died in police firing. The Morcha has identified the fourth victim as Digambar Yadav. 

According to Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital, dozens of people with injuries had visited the hospital for treatment. Eleven seriously injured persons have been referred to Biratnagar and Dharan, said the hospital. Protests erupted late in the evening in Siraha, Dhanusha and Bara.

Published: 07-03-2017 07:50

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