Three people died and dozens more were injured when police opened fire after a clash between Madhesi Morcha activists and security personnel in Saptari district of Nepal on Monday, authorities said.
The clash occurred when supporters of the Madhesi Morcha attempted to foil a mass gathering organised by the CPN-UML at Gajendra Narayan Singh Industrial Corridor in Saptari. The violence caused tension in several parts of the district.
Home ministry spokesperson Bal Krishna Panthi confirmed three deaths. He said two Madhesi Morcha cadres were in a critical condition in a local hospital.
Panthi said only one of the dead had been identified so far. Other sources said all the dead were Madhesi Morcha activists. They added that most of the wounded had been hit by bullets.
The Madhesi Morcha said one of its cadres, Ranjan Mehata of Saptari district, was hit in the head by a bullet and succumbed to his injuries soon after.
The home ministry said at least two dozen police personnel were injured in the clash.
The main opposition CPN-UML has launched the Mechi-Mahakali campaign in Nepal’s southern plains to boost its image ahead of polls to local government bodies.
Large contingents of security personnel were deployed in and around the site of the clash on Monday after the Madhesi Morcha declared it would obstruct the CPN-UML’s campaign.
The CPN-UML began its 15-day campaign in the Madhes region bordering India on Saturday. The Madhesi Morcha, an alliance of Madhes-based political parties, has had acrimonious ties with the CPN-UML since top CPN-UML leaders described the grouping as “anti-national” and a “political force run by foreign powers”.