Flood victims clash with cops in Sunsari, six hurt

Itahari, September 22:

Victims of Saptakoshi flood today staged demonstrations in Sunsari district to protest irregularities in relief distribution.

The displaced sheltering in several camps in the district said they were forced to agitate after the authorities concerned paid no heed to their complaints of irregularities. Demanding shelter and food, the victims staged protests in Haripur and Laukahi. Later, the protesters clashed with the police, leaving five displaced and a policeman injured in Haripur. The police had to use force to disperse the mob. Haripur and Laukahi areas remained tense throughout the day.

According to former Haripur VDC secretary Kapileshwor Yadav, some 400 flood victims took to the streets. They did so after 2,600 victims sheltering in an open land in Haripur-2 were deprived of food and shelter, he said. DSP Rupam Lama said sub-inspector Nabin Ghimire was seriously injured in the clash.

Dhirendra Pathak, a displaced of Haripur-3, accused the government of being biased against the Koshi victims of the area. Even money to buy firewood and vegetables has been distributed in Inaruwa, the victims in Haripur have received nothing, he claimed.

The flood victims and the police also chashed in Laukahi. The clash ensued after the police chased away the displaced sheltering on roadsides in Laukahi who tried to seize the relief material ferried by Nepal Red Cross Society to Madhuwan.

The victims warned that they would stage indefinite hunger strike if they were not treated properly. “Food grains are rotting in godowns but the displaced are dying of hunger,” said Kapileshwor Yadav, former Haripur VDC president.