Birgunj protester killed as police open fire for defying curfew

Police had to open fire after protesters defied curfew and staged demonstration

Birgunj, August 31

One protester was killed and four others injured in police firing on the 16th day of the indefinite Tarai Madhes strike called by the United Democratic Madhesi Front, here today.

UDMF has enforced indefinite strike to protest the draft constitution and seven-province federal model proposed by the three major parties.

Police had to open fire after the protesters defied curfew and staged demonstration.

Superintendent of Police Dibesh Lohani at Parsa District Police Office said Dilip Chaurasiya, 28, a Federal Socialist Party-Nepal cadre from Parsa’s Maniyari VDC, was shot in the chest during a clash that broke out near Parsa DDC. Chaurasiya was rushed to Narayani Sub-regional Hospital, where he succumbed to injuries.

Clashes had erupted between the bandh enforcers and police personnel at several places in Birgunj. Four agitators, including an eight-year-old child, were injured in police firing.

Eight other demonstrators were hurt in police baton-charge, while six police personnel sustained injuries after protesters pelted them with stones.

The injured are being treated at Narayani Sub-regional Hospital and National Medical College, Birgunj.

After the situation went out of control, Parsa DAO imposed an indefinite curfew in Birgunj from 4 pm today. Parsa CDO Keshav Raj Ghimire said curfew had been clamped at Ghantaghar, Maisthan, Parwanipur, Gandak, Powerhouse, Custom area, Adarshanagar, Ranighat, Baipas, Chhapkaiya in Birgunj.

Defying the curfew, protesters staged rallies at Ghantaghar, Ranighat, Murli and Chhapkaiya till late evening today. Agitators also set ablaze police posts at Birgunj’s Gandak, Ranighat and Ashokbatika. They also torched UML party office in Parsa.

The clashes started from Birgunj’s Nagawachowk when demonstrators hurled stones at the police personnel. To bring the situation under control, police fired dozen rounds of tear gas shells and fired in the air to disperse protesters. Protesters vandalised vehicles, offices of Land Survey, Nepal Telecom, DDC, Irrigation and a statue of late prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala.

A clash also broke out between the agitators and police at Bara’s Kalaiya. Police had to open three rounds of fire to disperse the mob. More than half a dozen demonstrators, including Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal General Secretary Ramsahay Yadav were injured. Agitators torched old building of Rautahat DDC. Rautahat CDO Madan Bhujel said vital documents and files, as well as furniture, were damaged in arson. Firefighters and security personnel doused the fire at the old DDC building.

Protesters vandalised a microbus heading to Kathmandu from Rajbiraj for defying bandh at Rupani of Raypur VDC in Saptari. Police intervened when the protesters tried to torch the microbus. Police said passengers on the vehicle were safe. Bandh organisers vandalised the UML party office and set it ablaze in Jaleswor of Mahottari district.