One dead, six injured in Nepal clash

Indo Asian News Service

Kathmandu, March 6 (IANS) At least one person was killed and six others injured in a clash between agitating Madhesi Morcha protestors and security personnel in Nepal's southern Saptari district, police said on Monday.

The deceased has been identified as Ranjan Mehata, who was shot in the head and died on the spot. Madhesi Morcha has claimed that Mehata was their member.

According to Nepal's Home Ministry, one person died in the clash on Sunday evening, while another was seriously injured and five others, who received bullet injuries in the clash, were undergoing treatment at a local hospital.

The ministry claimed that at least two dozen police personnel were injured in the violent clash.

Security personnel resorted to firing after Madhesi Morcha supporters attempted to foil a mass gathering organised by the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxists-Leninists) [CPN-UML] at Gajendra Narayan Singh Industrial Corridor in Rajbiraj municipality under the Mechi-Mahakali campaign.

Security was beefed up in and around the clash area by the ministry after the Madhesi Morcha announced it would obstruct the campaign organised by the CPN-UML. Several parts of the districts were tense since then.

The CPN-UML has started a 15-day-long east-west campaign from Saturday across the Terai/Madhes areas of Nepal which was opposed by the agitating Madhesi Morcha.

Madhesi Morcha, an alliance of Madhes-based parties of Nepal, has acrimonious ties with CPN-UML after top CPN-UML leaders repeatedly called them "anti-national" and "political force run by foreign powers".

After CPN-UML decided to launch the campaign, the Morcha has been telling it to stop it or face disruption. The Morcha cadres clashed with police while CPN-UML chairman K.P. Sharma Oli was addressing those present in the mass meeting.

Earlier, six Morcha cadres were injured in a clash that occurred before Oli reached the venue. Two persons were reported to be in critical condition.

The Morcha leaders and cadres burnt tyres and took out demonstrations carrying black flags and sticks since early morning on Monday, aimed at foiling the CPN-UML mass meeting.

--IANS

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