Nepal | October 23, 2020

One hurt as locals clash with police protesting burial of coronavirus-infected body

Bharat Koirala
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POKHARA: Police had to blank fire eight rounds of bullets to disperse a crowd of people taking a stand against the burial of a body on the bank of Seti River. One of the protesters was injured as they confronted security personnel.

Identity of the injured is yet to be established.

A 55-year-old patient from Arjunchaupari Rural Municipality died during the course of treatment for COVID-19 at the Western Regional Hospital, Pokhara, on Wednesday night.

When the authorities arranged to bury the body of the deceased into an open space on the bank of Seti River in Majuwa, Pokhara Metropolitan City-32, local residents disapproved of the decision.

Moreover, tension ran high as locals obstructed an excavator that started digging the ground, burnt tyres, confronted the Armed Police Force and vandalised their vehicle, at around 2:45 pm today. It has been reported that the windscreen of the vehicle was broken in the clash.

According to spokesperson at Kaski District Police Office, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Subash Hamal, police had to fire eight rounds of bullets into the air to take the situation under control.

Further, the law enforcers detained at least eight persons obstructing the management of the body.

Despite protest from locals, the authorities buried the body at Majuwa as per the procedure adopted by the province for management of body of persons infected with COVID-19.

The man who died from the infection was a diabetic patient and suffering from pneumonia, it has been reported. With the fatality, the total number of deaths from COVID-19 has reached two in Gandaki Province.

Procedure adopted by the province states that the administration will have to carry out the process in coordination with the local level. Security personnel including Nepali Army, Nepal Police, and Armed Police Force have been mobilised for the same.

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