A Bihar man was released by Nepal’s security personnel on Saturday, a day after he was detained following a firing incident inside its territory near the border with the Indian state, news agency ANI reported.
One Indian national was killed and two others were injured when Nepal’s Armed Police Force (APF), which guards the country’s border with India, opened fire on a group following an altercation on Friday morning.
Twenty-two-year-old Vikesh Yadav was killed and Uday Thakur, 24, and Umesh Ram, 18, were injured in the firing on Friday morning near Lalbandi-Janki Nagar border. Lagan Kishore was detained.
“My son and I were at the border to meet my daughter-in-law (a Nepali national). Security personnel from that side hit my son. They asked me to shut up when I asked why did they do that. They called up 10 more security personnel, they came to the border and fired bullets in the air,” Lagan Kishore was quoted as saying by ANI.
“We ran to return to India when they started firing but they dragged me from the Indian side, hit me with a rifle butt and took me to Nepal’s Sangrampur,” Kishore said.
“They told me to confess that I was brought there from Nepal. I told them you can kill me but I was brought there from India,” he added.
Kumar Rajesh Chandra, the director general of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), had said the firing incident took place around 8.40am on Friday in Nepalese territory when members of a family, some of whom reside in Nepal were meeting near the border.
“The Nepal APF objected (to them being there) saying there is a lockdown in Nepal till June 14, leading to some avoidable and instant altercation. Nepal APF has said that villagers became aggressive and they had to open 15 rounds of fire. This is being investigated,” Chandra said on Friday.
The free movement of people between India had Nepal stopped over the past three months due to the coronavirus pandemic and Nepal APF has increased the number of posts to stop Indians from entering its territory.
Only those on a list shared by local administrations from both sides were allowed to travel to and fro; cargo movement was also allowed.
Yadav and the two others who were injured were not in the list of persons shared by the local administrations, another official who asked not to be named said on Friday.
They were accompanied by others from their village and stones were thrown at the APF, an official said citing preliminary reports.
“Nepal APF has informed us that the villagers tried to snatch weapons from them but there will be an enquiry by them and by us also. As of now, everything is peaceful and locals have been told not to violate the lockdown imposed by Nepal,” the official said.
It was the third such incident in the last one month on the border when Nepal’s police force has fired to disperse people, particularly after India started easing its nationwide lockdown, an official, who asked not to be named, said.
Nepal has announced a lockdown in the border region till June 14.
Both the countries are locked in a dispute over territory following a map issued by Nepal that stakes claim over Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura. India’s ministry of external affairs said: “such artificial enlargement of territorial claims will not be accepted by India”.
India has said these were part of Uttarakhand while Kathmandu had shown them as part of western Nepal in its recent map.