School boy killed in police firing; curfew imposed in Gaur

Rautahat, December 20

An 18-year-old boy was killed in police firing when United Democratic Madhesi Front cadres clashed with police personnel in Rautahat headquarters Gaur today.

The deceased has been identified as Sekh Tabarej of Tejapakad VDC-1. He was a tenth grader at the local Juddha Higher Secondary School.

Tarai Madhes Democratic Party leader Anil Singh said a bullet had hit Sekh while he was returning home from school. He accused police personnel of kicking the victim and hitting him with sticks even when he fell on the ground after he was shot.

Dr Krishna Sah at District Hospital Rautahat said Sekh died as he was not admitted to the hospital on time.

Tension ran high throughout the day at Gaur due to frequent clashes.

Rautahat DAO issued a curfew order in Gaur from 4:00pm until further notice.

After agitators pelted police personnel with stones and bottles, the latter fired more than two dozen tear gas shells and 12 rubber bullets to contain the situation, said DSP Rajendra Pokhrel.

Pokhrel clarified that police were forced to open 17 rounds of blank fire and one round of real fire from the sentry post after protesters started attacking District Police Office, Rautahat.

DSP Pokhrel said that as many as 17 security personnel including police constables Surendra Sah and Dipak Kumar Singh and APF constable Gunraj Rai were injured.

Anil Singh said that more than one dozen agitators were injured.

Satish Jha, a youth from Bhalohiya VDC-6 was injured after being hit by a stone pelted by agitators.

The agitation turned ugly after Sekh died.

Rautahat CDO Narahari Baral said the DAO had imposed the curfew from 4:00pm in Gaur. Baral said curfew order was slapped in Barhawa Bridge in the north, Customs Gate in the south, Hanumansthan in the east and Tikuliya in the west.

Birgunj also remained tense in the afternoon after UDMF cadres clashed with police personnel at various places.

The agitators descended on the streets from early morning, burned tyres and staged demonstrations. Police had to use force after they started attacking police with stones.

Protesters vandalised a tempo, a rickshaw and a motorbike in Ghantaghar, Birgunj.

A large number of security personnel were deployed to avert untoward incidents.

UDMF, however, alleged that security personnel in civvies had infiltrated the agitation and hurled stones at other security personnel.

Local senior Sadbhawana Party central member Nejamuddin Samani accused the police of infiltrating the agitation with personnel in plainclothes to end their agitation on the instructions of the government.

Issuing a press statement, UDMF said its attention had been drawn towards the use of police personnel in plainclothes in the agitation to end the Tarai stir at the government’s directive. The statement condemned Sekh’s killing. Police, however, refuted the allegation.

Meanwhile, a minor clash broke out between police and UDMF cadres at Jogbani Customs Point in Biratnagar. The clash erupted after police tried to stop UDMF cadres from burning the constitution amendment bill tabled in Parliament.