How Kailali protest took an ugly turn?

A team of security personnel led by Nepal Police SSP Laxman Neupane and SP Laxman Singh were deployed at Durgauli of Tikapur in view of demonstrations demanding a Tharuhat province. The agitators had been demanding an ‘autonomous’ Tharuhat province in the federal setup, including Kailali and Kanchanpur of Far-western region in the province.

Security sources say that protesters suddenly surrounded and stormed police personnel from all sides with home-made weapons.

Irate mob attacked some cops and dragged them their base, forcing others to maintain distance. In the meantime, some protesters hurled stones at police.

Some 20 minutes later, police fired teargas to disperse the agitators.

Security sources add that they found that some cops were killed, brutually, while others were severely injured. One policeman was set on fire, alive, while others were stabbed to death, according to the source.

Additional police force has been mobilized to maintain order in the location. Over 300 police personnel each from Nepal Police and APF have been fanned out in the tension-gripped area.

Eyewitness account

Tharuhat Struggle Committee, Kailali, had planned to erase all ‘Nepal Government’ boards and replace it with ‘Tharuhat Autonomous State’ at all government offices. The locals from Motinagar, Durgauli, Bangaun and Jagatpur had decided to converge at a location before heading to government offices. More than 20,000 locals then marched toward government buildings clamoring slogans for ‘Autonomous Tharuhat region’ trespassing the restricted areas as imposed by the local administration. They carried bamboo spears with them.

The protestors came across police personnel deployed to prevent any untoward incidents at Tikapur. As situation turned tense following the clash between police and protestors, police fired few rounds of tear gas canisters to disperse the irate crowd. Failing to contain the situation, the police fired few rounds of bullet in the air.

Within a short span of time, probably a couple of minutes, protestors outnumbered the police personnel. The police open fire at protestors failing to contain the situation despite repeated warnings. I saw six police personnel being brought down by the protestors and many protestors injured. I assisted them to ferry to hospitals in a Red Cross van. I also saw few villagers carrying their colleagues to the hospitals.

The local administration has now clamped curfew and the situation looks under control.

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