Nepal police fire live rounds as Indian farmers try to cross border amid lockdown

AFP
Nepal's police fired live rounds into the air to deter Indian farmers trying to cross the border to harvest their corn amid the coronavirus lockdown, an official said Sunday.
AFP

Nepal's police fired live rounds into the air to deter Indian farmers trying to cross the border to harvest their corn amid the coronavirus lockdown, an official said Sunday.

Nearly 150 Indians who rent land in Jhapa district in far-east Nepal -- which borders India's Bihar and West Bengal states -- tried to force their way across on Saturday, district chief Udaya Bahadur Ranamagar told AFP.

"Our border police opened fire into the air after the crowd attacked their base post," Ranamagar said.

No-one was injured, he added.

Earlier this month police in the same district fired blank rounds to disperse dozens of Indians trying to cross the border, Ranamagar said. It was not clear if they were also farmers.

Nepal shares a 1,850-kilometre (1,150-mile) open border with India, and communities commonly travel across it for work and to visit family.

But Nepal closed its international borders on March 22 amid the pandemic, before imposing a nationwide lockdown two days later.

Authorities have stepped up security at the border as the number of cases in the districts bordering India rise.

Nepal reported its first coronavirus death on Saturday. The total number of confirmed infections rose to 291 on Sunday.


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