Woman among three killed in police firing

Morang, January 21

Three persons, including a woman, were killed in police firing in Morang’s Rangeli and Dainiya today after cadres of the United Democratic Madhesi Front clashed with police personnel and activists of Youth Association Nepal, CPN-UML’s

student wing. Sixteen persons, including six police personnel, were injured in the clashes.

The deceased have been identified as Draupatidevi Chaudhary, 58, of Rangeli, Mahadev Rishidev, 45, of Bardanga, and Shibu Majhi, 25, of Dainiya. While Chaudhary, who was an RPP-Nepal activist, died on the spot, Majhi succumbed to bullet injuries on way to a hospital in Biratnagar and Rishidev breathed his last while undergoing treatment in Golden Hospital, Biratnagar.

Chaudhary and Rishidev were shot in Rangeli, as the police tried to stop the UDMF cadres from disrupting the YAN’s Madhes Awareness programme, while Majhi was hit by a bullet in Dainiya, where UDMF cadres had clashed with YAN activists.

Most of the injured are being treated in Biratnagar’s Golden Hospital, while some have been referred to hospitals in India’s Siliguri and BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, for treatment.

The situation turned ugly early in the morning after UDMF cadres staged rallies against the YAN programme attended by CPN-UML’s top brass. Police had to open fire after UDMF cadres and agitators broke the security cordon and went ahead to disrupt the YAN programme on Khanepani Road. Morang police chief Superintendent of Police Tarini Prasad Lamsal said UDMF cadres, armed with lathis, sticks, spears and knives, tried to attack YAN activists after breaking the police cordon. He said dozens of tear gas shells were fired to disperse the mob. Lamsal claimed police opened fire after four rounds of bullets were fired at the police by the agitators. He said the police also rescued 12 UML cadres captured by UDMF.

Assistant CDO Ekdev Adhikary said security had been tightened to avert any untoward incident in Rangeli.

Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal’s Morang unit chief Raj Kumar Yadav said police opened fire at their peaceful agitation. He accused the police of killing in cold blood.

YAN had publicised the programme claiming that UML Chairperson and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli would be present in Rangeli. UDMF had intensified its agitation targeting Oli’s possible arrival.

Sports Minister Satya Narayan Mandal, UML General Secretary Ishwor Pokhrel, Secretary Shankar Pokhrel, YAN Chairman Rajiv Pahari, former industry minister Mahesh Basnet participated in the programme.