BHADRAPUR: Police opened two rounds of blank fire at the southern border region of Jhapa district to drive away people from across the border who were trying to crowd in defiance of the lockdown, on Monday.

The incident took place at around 4.30 pm at a border village in Jhapa Rural Municipality-4. More than 150 Indian nationals carrying homemade weapons crowded at the temporary Nepali border security post, forcing the security personnel to fire in the air in order to disperse the crowd, said rural municipality chair Jaya Kumar Saha.

According to chair Saha, security personnel stopped two Indian nationals who tried to enter Nepal and turned them away earlier in the day. After some time, scores of others carrying homemade weapons tried to enter Nepal. They dispersed after security personnel blank fired.

Chief District Officer, Udaya Bahadur Rana, said the police had to open fire to stop the crowd from crossing the border into Nepal at the time when movement of people has been completely prohibited to stem the spread of COVID-19.