Lumbini – Four people died and more than two dozen injured following a clash between police personnel and landless squatters at the under-construction Motipur Industrial Area in Rupandehi district on Sunday.
According to Sushil Gurung, Public Relations Officer at the Bhairawaha-based Universal College of Medical Sciences, four of the eight landless squatters who were brought to the hospital for treatment following the incident have died.
“Three people were declared brought dead at the hospital while one died during the course of undergoing treatment,” said Gurung.
Five police personnel are also receiving treatment at the health facility, according to Gurung.
Police administration, however, has not confirmed the incident of deaths.
According to the District Police Office, over two dozen people including police personnel have sustained injuries during the clash.
Over 50 people involved in the incident are currently receiving treatment at Lumbini Provincial Hospital
“Of them, 15 are in serious condition,” Ram Prasad Aryal, In-charge of the hospital’s emergency department, told the Post.
Following the deadly clashes during the day, the District Administration Office, Rupandehi issued a curfew order from 4 pm Sunday evening to prevent any untoward incident in view of the rising tensions.
According to the District Administration Office, the curfew order will be in place until further notice and will be implemented from Tinau River in the east to agriculture lands in Hariharpur in the west and Shivanagar Ranigunj settlement in the North to the industrial corridor in Butwal Sub-Metropolitan City-18.
DSP Satya Narayan Thapa, spokesperson at the District Police Office, informed that the police had opened fire after a clash ensued between the security personnel and alleged land encroachers.
The District Administration Office had deployed security personnel in large numbers to the industrial area since early Sunday morning.
Eyewitnesses have claimed that shots were fired from both sides during the clash.
The government in the fiscal year 2015-16 had announced the construction of the industrial zone. The following year a land ownership document was issued for Motipur Industrial Area to be constructed in 813 bighas of land.
As of late, locals from Butwal have constructed around 400 temporary houses and shelters in around 200 bighas of land inside the industrial zone.
A prohibitory order was issued by the local administration effective from September 14 inside the industrial area to clear the encroachers.