An Indian man was shots dead while three others receive gunshot injuries on Friday after Nepal border police troops open fire “deep inside” Nepalese territory” adjoining Bihar’s Sitamarhi district, officials say.
One Indian, identified as Lagan Yadav (45), has been taken into custody by the Nepal border police.
Speaking to media in Delhi, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) Director-General (DG) Kumar Rajesh Chandra said, “The incident took place at around 8:40 am “deep inside Nepalese territory”.
The situation is normal now and “our local commanders immediately got in touch with our Nepalese counterparts APF”, Chandra said.
Vikesh Yadav (22), who suffered a bullet injury in the abdomen area, has succumbed, while Uday Thakur (24) and Umesh Ram (18) are injured and admitted to a private hospital in Sitamarhi, which is around 85 kilometers from Bihar capital Patna. Lagan Yadav, who has been detained by the Nepal Police was also injured in the firing.
As per preliminary reports obtained from locals, the confrontation began when APF troops objected to the presence of Lagan Yadav’s daughter-in-law in their area after they saw her talking to some people from India, they said. Lagan Yadav’s daughter-in-law is from Nepal.
There are relations between locals on either side of this border, and as the front is not fence, people move around to meet their family members, the officials said.
Nageshwar Rai, the father of deceased Vikesh Yadav, expressed his grief and anguish. “Nepal’s security forces fired 15-16 rounds of fire at unarmed villagers of Janakinagar, killing Vikesh and injuring two others,” he said.
APF personnel officials said to have objected to the “congregation” as Nepal has enforced lockdown till June 14. A heated argument led to an altercation between the two sides and later, about 80-100 Indians gathered at the spot.
The APF has claim that they first fire in the air to disperse the crowd and fearing snatching of their weapons, they later initiated aim fire in which one person died and three get hit, the officials say.
Nepal media, however, say that the Indian nationals involve in the incident are smugglers, who were trying to enter Nepal.
The incidence comes a few days after Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma claimed that people returning from India were responsible for 85 per cent of Covid-19 cases in Nepal. India and Nepal are also currently against border dispute.
Nepal’s new political map includes Indian territories Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani. While the country has expressed its intent to settle the dispute diplomatically, Nepal has reportedly added 15 Border Out Posts (BOP) along the Indian border in Uttarakhand and has deployed armed police force at them.
But sources in the security grid say that Nepal APF deployment is in wake of Covid-19 lockdown. The sources also suggest that Nepalese deployment is not as large as India even after the addition of new posts.
The 1,751 km open India-Nepal border is guard by the 51st battalion of the SSB. The site of the incident is almost a kilometre and a half from SSB border pillar number 319.
While total number of BOPs maintained by Nepal is 120, India’s SSB manages 533 border posts. This means that the gap between two of their BOPs is nearly 15 km whereas the gap between Indian BOPs is just 3 km.