NEW DELHI :
An Indian national was killed and two others injured on Friday when Nepal's Armed Police Force personnel opened fire at a group of Indians, who reportedly tried to enter Nepal through the southern border allegedly in violation of a lockdown in the Himalayan country.
Nepal’s Additional Inspector General of Police of the Armed Police Force Narayan Babu Thapa was quoted as saying by PTI that the incident occurred when a group of about 30 Indians got into an altercation with Nepalese security personnel in Narayanpur area, some 75 metres inside Nepalese territory.
The Indian nationals were from Bihar’s Sitamarhi district.
“After they were stopped at the border area by the forward base of the Armed Police Force, who were deployed to enforce the lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, dozens of others joined them and pelted stones on the security personnel," Thapa was quoted as saying.
“They even snatched weapons from one of our security men. After firing 10 rounds of bullets in the air, our personnel had to open fire in self-defence in which one person was killed and two others were injured," Thapa said.
Following the incident, the Nepalese security personnel held consultations with their Indian counterparts and the situation has now returned to normal, Thapa was quoted as saying.
The incident comes amid a strain in ties between Nepal and India over a new map being brought out by Kathmandu that shows three areas, claimed by India as its territory, lying within the boundaries of Nepal.
Nepal's parliament is to hold a special session on Saturday that will see Kathmandu give a green signal to a new map that incorporates the areas -- Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura – as part of Nepal.
According to another PTI report from Kathmandu, a “house meeting" of the Nepalese parliament has been scheduled for Saturday with the matter relating to the amended map likely to come up for discussion during the meeting.
Last month, Nepal had released the revised political and administrative map of the country claiming the three areas that India says is part of its territory.
The ties between India and Nepal have become stressed after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a 80-km-long strategically crucial road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand on 8 May.
Nepal's Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has said that his government will seek a solution to the Kalapani issue through diplomatic efforts and dialogue on the basis of historical facts and documents.
"We will get back the land occupied by India through holding a dialogue," Oli said in Parliament on Wednesday, according to PTI.
In his comments, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava on Thursday said: “India deeply values its civilization, cultural and friendly relations with Nepal," focusing on the “multi-faceted bilateral partnership" that has “expanded and diversified in the recent years with increased focus and enhanced government of India's assistance on humanitarian, development and connectivity projects in Nepal."