CHITWAN/BUTWAL, May 16: Over two dozen people, including nine policemen, were injured as police opened fire after Tharuhat activists set the passenger buses being escorted by the police on fire at Basa of Nawalparasi on Wednesday. Two of the injured are said to be in critical condition.
The police started to escort passenger buses stranded for the past three days due to the banda called by the Joint Tharu Struggle Committee.
The banda enforcers followed the convoy of escorted vehicles and set them on fire in the afternoon. The police fired 24 rounds of rubber bullets, 16 rounds of bullet in the sky and 19 tear gas shells to take the situation under control after the protestors set a bus reserved by students of Sukuna Multiple Campus, Morang, a passenger bus and a truck being escorted to Butwal.
The police claimed that nobody was hit by the bullets fire by them. Five Tharu protestors were injured in police firing in a clash in Nawalparasi five days ago. The Tharus also vandalized over 15 other escorted vehicles.
There were scuffles between police and protestors throughout the day in Basa. Nawalparasi Police said inspector Khadka Bahadur Khatri, Armed Police Force (APF) inspector Bishnu BC, police head-constables Tek Bahadur Chhetri and Sujan Kharel, and constables Ramu Lamichhane, Sujir Singh, Tilak Basyal and others were injured in the clash.
Head-constable Chhetri and constable Lamichhane have serious head injuries and have been referred to Bhairahawa Medical College while the rest, including the protestors and others, are being treated at the District Hospital in Parasi and local medical centers. Twelve students from Sukuna Multiple Campus were also injured in the attack by Tharus.
Chief of Nawalparasi Police Gyan Bikram Shah said police had to escort public vehicles as the protestors did not allow vehicular movement between Bhumahi and Bardaghat through Basa. Locals have been hard hit as the Tharus did not allow even ambulances to operate.
Woman delivers in bus, kid dies in lack of medical care
A woman who delivered a baby in a stranded passenger bus lost her newborn in lack of proper postnatal care.
According to police, the woman, who was inside the bus till the evening, is also in critical condition. Meanwhile, a hearse carrying the body of Ganesh Bahadur Rana, who had died in Saudi Arabia while on employment, from Kathmandu to his ancestral home in Chhayasatra-8, Salyan was also stranded in the highway throughout the day.