Patna/Kathmandu: The Nepal border guarding force on Friday opened fire on a crowd killing a 22-year-old Indian and injuring two others following an altercation, sparking tension on the Indo-Nepal Border along Bihar's Sitamarhi district.
The border guarding force -- Nepalese Armed Police Force -- has also detained a person identified as 45-year-old Lagan Yadav after the incident, Indian officials said.
The incident comes in the midst of a raging boundary row between the two countries with India sternly asking Nepal not to resort to any "artificial enlargement" of territorial claims after Kathmandu released a new political map laying claim over Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura.
New Delhi maintains that these were part of Uttarakhand while Kathmandu, in its recent map, had shown them as part of Western Nepal.
India had published its new map of the border region in November, after it divided Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh into two Union territories. The map had incorporated these areas of Uttarakhand, the territories disputed with Nepal, within India's borders.
Giving details about the incident at Sitamarhi district, 134 km from Patna, Kumar Rajesh Chandra, Director General of Sashastra Seema Bal, a force looking after the 1,751 km India-Nepal frontier, said the incident took place around 8:40 A.M "deep inside Nepalese territory".
The situation is normal now and local commanders of both sides got in touch immediately, Chandra told PTI in New Delhi.
"We have submitted a report to the MHA on the basis of preliminary findings and our nearest border post, that is about 1.5 km from the incident site, is keeping an eye on the matter," the SSB DG said.
Inspector General (IG) of the SSB looking after the Patna Frontier, Sanjay Kumar, told PTI over phone that the incident took place between locals and the Armed Police Force (APF) of Nepal.
One person was killed and two others injured in the firing, the IG said.
Giving details, the officials said Vikesh Yadav (22), who suffered a bullet injury in the abdomen area, has succumbed while Uday Thakur (24) and Umesh Ram (18) are injured and admitted to a private hospital in Sitamarhi, they said.
Officials said, as per preliminary reports obtained from locals, there were protests after the APF troops had objected to the presence Indians in their area in violation of the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nepal has announced a lockdown in the area till June 14.
The bordering districts on both sides of the border maintain contacts and in the absence of any fence, people move around to meet their family members, they said.
The objection raised by the APF resulted in a heated argument and it is alleged that the Indian people called other villagers and indulged in stone pelting on Nepalese APF.
APF Additional Inspector General of Police Narayan Babu Thapa told PTI in Kathmandu that the incident occurred when a group of 25-30 Indian nationals were trying to enter Nepal and attacked the Nepalese security personnel at Narayanpur area of Parsa Rural Municipality in Sarlahi district in southern Nepal.
"After they were stopped at the border area by forward base of APF who were deployed to enforce lockdown in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, dozens of people joined the Indian group and pelted stones on the security personnel.
"They even snatched weapons from one of our security men. After firing ten rounds of bullets in the air, our personnel had to open fire for self-defence in which one person was killed and two others were injured," the APF officer said.
The incident took place some 75 metres inside the Nepalese territory from the no-man's land, he added.
Senior officials of the local police, administration and the SSB are at the spot and a flag meeting is expected latest by Saturday, the officials said.