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Fresh tension at border after Indian villagers thrashed by Nepal’s armed police force

An eerie silence prevails at Kharsalwa village under Jharokhar police station on Indo-Nepal border on Saturday, a day after Nepal’s armed police force (APF) wounded two Indian villagers including a woman and opened fire to deter a gathering of angry crowd amid rising tensions.

Eye-witnesses said jawans of Nepal’s armed police force (APF) thrashed a woman, identified as Seema Devi and her husband Ravindra Prasad, residents of Kharsalwa village under Jharokhar in Ghodasahan block of East Champaran, after the woman along with her co-villagers Manju Devi and Kundan Kumar stepped a few metres into Nepal’s territory of Narkatiya to collect fodder for the livestock at around 4pm.

“A high drama unfolded as the APF misbehaved with the woman and thrashed her badly,” said Ram Pukar Sinha, a resident of Ghodasahan and JD-U’s state council member.

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Locals said as the news spread, Seema Devi’s husband Ravindra Prasad rushed to her rescue but was held captive and attacked by Nepal armed police. “When I protested against them hurting my wife, they thrashed me, too, and took me to their outpost. But before this they freed my wife,” said Ravindra Prasad.

His wife, who sustained injuries on head, spoke to HT over phone from Kharsalwa village and said they were assaulted without any provocation.

“First they beat up Kundan (Kumar), accompanying me and the other co-villager. When I rushed to save him, they went after me,” she said.

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At around 6pm on Friday, the situation on the border along Ghodasan turned volatile after Nepal’s armed police force opened fire in the air as a large number of villagers from Kharsalwa and a neighbouring village gathered along the border. The locals, in a huff, caught hold of an APF jawan who had come to the Indian side to buy some essential commodities.

Meanwhile, Sikarahana sub divisional magistrate Gyan Prakash and sub divisional police officer (SDPO) along with Seema Sashatra Seema Bal (SSB) officials and jawans rushed to the spot and prevented the situation from taking an ugly turn.

“At around 11.30 pm, normalcy returned after Ravindra Prasad and APF jawan were freed by the two sides,” said Ram Pukar Sinha, a JD (U) leader.

When contacted, Tapan Kumar Das, commandant of the 20th battalion of SSB confirmed the incident and said, “We came to know that the woman attacked an APF jawan with a sickle after they asked her and others to go back.”

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