6 hurt in clash over sand mining on India-Nepal border
Villagers on either side of the India-Nepal border clashed over sand mining at Oriya Khola in Sikta police station area of Bihar’s West Champaran district on Friday. At least six persons were injured in the incident.
Villagers of Gadiyani on the Indian side claimed that a mob from Piraiguthi in Parsa district of the neighbouring country also opened fire in no-man’s land as the clash turned violent.
As tensions ran high, officials from both sides intervened to hold peace, police said.
“The incident happened when Nepal citizens stopped us from mining sand in the bed of Oriya river, which flows from the Himalayan nation,” Indian villagers said.
“The Nepal villagers attacked some 100 sand loaders and beat up drivers of trucks parked in the area. Many carried guns, which were used to threaten us,” they said.
Parsa superintendent of police Gobind Sah told HT that the clash had left two Nepal citizens injured. He also confirmed that four rounds were fired during the clashes.
Instances of clashes between people on either side of the border have been many and officials of India and Nepal have been hard pressed to contain sudden flare-ups at times.
A similar incident was reported on September 13 last year at the same site after armed police force (APF) of Nepal, backed by people of the Himalayan nation stopped sand miners. A clash that ensued left about 10 people, including Nepal head constable Raj Kumar Manjhi, injured.
Arbind Mandal, subdivisional officer (SDO) of Narkatiaganj in West Champaran district, said normalcy was fast returning after officials on both the sides held a border meeting and acted to quell the trouble.
“Nepal citizens claim right to mining in the river, which flows through their territory and allege that deep sand mining along the Indian border was changing the course of the river, affecting their habitations,” he said.
Due to this border pillars had also been obliterated, thus presenting difficulty in ascertaining the boundaries between the two nations at this point, he added.