Child killed as squatters clash with landowners

Biratnagar, July 2:

Three-year-old Ajay Rajbanshi was killed in a clash between squatters and landowners at Bardanga-9 of Morang district last evening.

The clash and the death came to light after the father of the child, Kumalo Rishidev, filed an application at the Rangeli Area Police Office today.

Though police have said that the young squatter died of drowning, Dr Najmul Rahman of Rageli hospital said that the postmortem report showed that the child died of a critical injury on his head.

The child died of drowning, said inspector Bimal Basnet at Rangeli APO. However, the child’s brother Shrawan Rishidev alleged that the police are supporting the landlord and trying to hush things up.

Landlords including Bhola Yadav and Laxman Singh clashed with the squatters after telling the latter to clear the place where they have been squatting. Squatters Kumari Rishi Dev, Bodhan Rishidev, Prahlad Rishi Dev, Chaudhari Rishi Dev, Mohan Rishidev and Makar Bahadur Rishi Dev were injured in the clash.

Police have arrested Laddu Rishidev, Inar Rishidev, Makar Bahadur Rishidev, Sher Rishidev and Chaudhari Rishidev. Some two dozen squatters, demanding compensation to the victim’s family and the release of the arrested squatters, staged a sit-in at Rangeli APO today. The clash occurred after the squatters began hoisting flags on open land, police said.

Three weeks ago, landowners had set fire to 150 huts of the squatters. The squatters are yet to get any compensation.