APF men held, freed by villagers in Sunsari

Biratnagar, April 30:

Locals of Sahebgunj, Sunsari, today released members of the mobile revenue team of the Biratnagar customs office, eight hours after holding them captive.

Deputy superintendent of police and head of the customs revenue patrol team, Bharat Karki, had arrived at Sahebgunj this morning after being tipped off about 18 unclaimed sacks of maize in the village. A dispute began as his team tried to seize the maize sacks.

Hundreds of locals chanted slogans against the team and vandalised the Mahendra pick-up truck the team came in. AFP superintendent of police of Kankalini battalion, Gopal Mishra, said the vehicle had been damaged beyond repair. Locals seized communication sets and other equipment of the AFP personnel before holding the APF team captive inside a local school.

The mobile revenue team is authorised to confiscate smuggled goods in the area between Morang’s Sijuwa and Sunsari’s Koshi barrage. Smugglers have been using locals of Sunsari’s Sahebgunj, Dewangunj, Bhutaha and Ghuski villages to bring goods into Nepal through border checkpoints.

The locals use bicycles and pull-carts to smuggle goods. Goods worth at least Rs 1.5 million are smuggled into Nepal each day, the team claims.