The situation along the Indo-Nepal border in Lakhimpur Kheri is still "tense" and Nepalese people are shouting anti-India slogans, the SSB today said as it denied reports of firing by its men leading to the death of a Nepalese citizen on the other side.
According to reports, a Nepalese man was killed yesterday when the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) troops allegedly opened fire following a dispute over construction of a culvert on Sano Khola river in Kanchanpur district along the border in Uttar Pradesh.
The deceased has been identified as Govinda Gautam of Nepal’s Kanchanpur district.
SSB Director General Archana Ramasundaram said the border guarding force has also ordered a fact-finding inquiry to be conducted by a Deputy Inspector General (DIG)-rank officer of the force.
"Our troops have told us that there has been no firing from their side but as the allegations are serious, I have ordered for a Court of Inquiry," she told PTI.
The force, in a statement issued here, added, "It is alleged in the media that one Nepalese citizen has died due to SSB firing. The SSB officials concerned have denied any firing."
"The situation is tense today and a large number of Nepalese people have gathered on the spot again and resorted to shouting anti-India slogans and stone-pelting. Local officers and SSB officers are on the spot," it said.
“Categorically” denying firing by the SSB, the Ministry of External Affairs has said India has sought from Nepal the post-mortem and forensic reports of the Nepalese national who is alleged to have been killed in SSB firing.
The incident has triggered protests in Nepal.
The SSB said the clashes were first triggered on Wednesday when some "Nepalese people gathered near pillar no 200" in the Basai area of Pilibhit in the said district and tried to construct a culvert.
"They were stopped from doing so as earlier the authorities from both sides had agreed to allow construction of culvert only after conducting a joint geological survey.
"But yesterday, again in the morning, a group of Nepalese people gathered at same site and started pelting stones on SSB personnel and local police and administrative authorities on duty," it said.
"Nine SSB personnel and 34 Indian civilians were injured in stone pelting," it said.
While the local police fired a teargas shell, two were fired by the Nepal police to "disperse the crowd" yesterday, it said.
The situation, the SSB said, was brought under control by the intervention of the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police of Lakhimpur Kheri and Nepalese authorities in Kanchanpur.
Officials said the SSB is yet to get the post-mortem report of the deceased youth and there are reports that suggest that he might have died due to some liver ailment.
"However, official reports in this regard are awaited," they added.
Nepal raises issue with India
Nepal has raised with India the issue of the killing of its citizen in alleged firing, the Foreign Ministry here said.
Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement last night, "condemned" the killing of Nepali national Govinda Gautam due to "firing opened by the Indian security forces" at the Nepal-India border near Anandabazar in Kanchanpur district.
"The Government of Nepal has already taken up this matter with serious concern at higher diplomatic level of the Government of India with a demand to investigate the incident and bring the guilty to justice," the statement said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi has also telephoned External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and raised the matter, media reports here said.
India ‘categorically’ denies firing by SSB
India has "categorically denied" that its border-guarding force Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) killed the Nepali man at the Nepal-India border and said there is a need to maintain calm.
The Indian Embassy here said yesterday that there was no incident of firing by the SSB.
India, however, has sought from Nepal the post-mortem and forensic reports of the Nepali national.
Nepal's government has also called for taking necessary steps to bring the situation under control so that no further untoward incident takes place in the said border area, the Foreign Ministry here said.
Officials of two bordering districts of India and Nepal met after the incident and agreed to maintain peace and order, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said in New Delhi.
The SSB, which works under the command of the Union Home Ministry, is tasked with guarding the 1,751 km long Indo-Nepal border.
Uttar Pradesh shares a 599.3 km long open border with Nepal touching seven districts- Pilibhit, Lakhimpur Kheri, Bahraich, Sravasti, Balrampur, Sidhharthnagar and Maharajganj.
(With PTI inputs)