BIRGUNJ, July 01: Over 40 persons, including five policemen, were injured in a clash that ensued after police intervened in a sit-in against industrial pollution organized by locals in front of the main gate of Chachan Group of industries in Lipanimal, Bara Saturday.
The locals have been demanding that the Supreme Court verdict of October 28, 2010 directing Chahchan group to stop pollution be honored. “We were staging sit-in as the Parsa and Bara district administration turned deaf ears to our repeated requests to implement the court decision,” Rajeshwar Patel of Bhawanipur-9 said. “A team of special task force led by inspector Rajendra Bahadur Chand attacked the locals who were protesting peacefully,” Patel added.
The police even thrashed protestors who had already returned home. “Police entered our houses and thrashed us. Even animals are not beaten so mercilessly, “said Ramshila Devi, who is undergoing treatment at the emergency ward of Narayani Sub-regional Hospital.
Janha Devi, 70, said she does not know why she was beaten. Most of the injured persons are female with Jokhani Devi, 60, suffering leg and hand fractures. Chandan Patel, six, has also been admitted at the hospital with leg injuries.
Inspector at the Area Police Office, Simara KP Sharma said sub-inspector Rajendra Bahadur Chand, assistant sub-inspector Rajendra Chaudhary, head constables Tek Bahadur Ghimire and Padam Bahadur, and constable Shyam Niroula of the special task force were also injured in the clash. Police said the clash ensued while they were trying to stop the protestors from entering the factory premises forcefully.
Inspector Sharma said police first resorted to baton charging and then fired 10 shots in the air after protestors pelted stones at them. The police also fired two rounds of tear gas shells to take the situation under control.
Chairman of Birgunj Chamber of Commerce Ashok Temani said such problems will continue to occur as long as the factories remain in human settlements and a separate industrial area is not formed.