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Nepal tightens security along Indian border amid unrest


Kathmandu: Security has been tightened along the porous Indo-Nepal border in western Nepal even as an Indian national was among 11 persons arrested today following violent protests against the proposed new Constitution which have killed 11 people including seven policemen.

The number of security personnel deployed in the border area in Kailali district has been increased and monitoring of people’s movement has also been intensified, according to Home Ministry sources.

The move comes in the wake of Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Bamdev Gautam’s statement in Parliament that people from across the border had infiltrated into the mob that killed seven policemen.

However, India yesterday conveyed its concerns to Nepal over “unsubstantiated” statements made by Nepalese leaders over alleged intrusion by Indians in riot-hit areas, saying such actions could cause “misunderstandings” and “distort” perceptions about friendly bilateral ties.

Nepal has seen several protests in recent weeks against the new draft Constitution but the unrest took an ugly turn on Monday with seven police officers, a 2-year-old son of a police officer, and three protesters killed in the violence.

The draft presented in the Constituent Assembly, the national parliament, on Sunday aims to restructure Nepal as a federal state made up of seven provinces.

Police have nabbed 10 people from Kailali district for suspected involvement in the killings including that of SSP Laxman Neupane who was burnt alive by an armed mob while six other policemen were also brutally killed during the protests launched by the Tharuwan ethnic group.

An Indian national was also arrested from Banke district for breaching the curfew order.

The Indian identified as Saddam Hussain, 21, was arrested from Nepalgunj for provoking policemen and violating curfew orders, police said.

Demonstrators have been protesting against the new Constitution saying the proposed provinces fail to ensure political representation for marginalised communities.

The protesters have rejected the seven-province model of federal system announced by the major political parties in June after April’s devastating earthquake.

Nepal’s main parties agree that there should be seven federal states, but smaller parties and ethnic groups oppose either the number or the structure of the states.

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