Four forest guards were injured when a band of timber smugglers attacked them while they were patrolling at Karaiyamai Rural Municipality, Bara, last night.

Foresters Jay Prakash Sah and Nawal Kihsor Prasad and forest guards Man Bahadur Shrestha and Nabin Chaudhary were injured, said Division Forest Office Bara.

All four except forester Sah have sustained head injuries.

They are being treated at Birgunj-based Narayani Hospital.

Their condition is said to be normal, said Bara Division Forest Office Chief Manjur Ahamad.

Sawed timber was found at the same place yesterday afternoon.

A joint team of 12 people from Madhuwan Sub-division and Kakafi Forest Post had gone for patrolling to identify the smugglers at night.

Ahamad said that a group of around 45 timber smugglers had suddenly attacked the joint patrol team with domestic weapons. They snatched a rifle and took it away, but it was later found as they had left it.

Following the incident, Bara Forest Office filed a murder case against 45 people, including locals Bhola Dhami, and Ganga Dhami, said Ahamad.

In the wake of the incident, Bara District Police Office had deployed a large number of police personnel to the incident site. The forest patrol team members were rescued by police.

DSP Gautam Mishra said the injured forest guards were sent to Birgunj after primary treatment at Kolhabi. Police have arrested one person for his involvement in the incident. The arrested is Baliram Chaudhary, 35.

Police seized timber from the place where Chaudhary was held. "Police have launched an investigation into the incident," said DSP Mishra.

A version of this article appears in the print on February 4, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.