THT 10 years ago: 25 killed, 40 hurt as Maoists clash with MJF men

Birgunj/ Sarlahi, March 21, 2007

As many as 25 persons, including two women, were killed and 40 others injured in a clash that ensued between the Maoist cadres and activists of the Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum (MJF) in Gaur, the Rautahat district headquarters, this afternoon.

Superintendent of police at the Rautahat district police office Ram Kumar Khanal said that 25 have died in the encounter. The police team has brought 12 dead bodies to district headquarters Gaur from Hajmaniya VDC, which is five kilometers east of Gaur.

The police has also got two dead bodies at Gaur Municipality-4 Mahadevpatti. One another injured person died on the way to Birgunj, Khanal said.

According to Khanal, two groups scattered at Gaur resumed fighting at a near-by village. The police have learnt that most of those who died in the encounter are Maoists, he said. The dead bodies are kept at the Gaur Hospital for post-mortem.

Of the injured persons, the condition of 15 is reported to be critical, Khanal said. Six persons were killed on the spot, while four died in course of treatments, Khanal said, adding all the killed persons were Maoist cadres and they all were shot dead.

The clash occurred when the MJF activists destroyed a podium prepared by the Maoist-affiliated Madhesi Mukti Morcha, at Rice Mill ground in Gaur.

Cross-firing occurred immediately when the Maoist cadres attacked the MJF activists after the latter destroyed the podium, eyewitnesses said. The clash continued for about half-an-hour.

Eight-party meeting seeks tough action against guilty

The eight-party meeting today expressed sadness at the incident in Gaur, where at least nine people were killed and over two dozen injured in a clash between cadres of the MJF and the CPN (Maoist).

The meeting, held at the Prime Minister’s residence in Baluwatar, also urged the government to probe the incident and take stern action against those found guilty.

The leaders of the eight political parties also urged the government to provide free medical treatment to those injured in the clash.

The leaders expressed deep sorrow over the incident and offered condolence to the family members of those who lost their lives in the incident.

“The government must take stern measures to control such acts and it must safeguard life and property of the people,” said a statement issued by eight leaders, including PM Girija Prasad Koirala, at the end of the meeting.

The leaders also appealed to the businessmen and industrialists to call off their indefinite strike and return to dialogue with the government.