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Curfew reimposed, security stepped up in west Nepal town

Curfew reimposed, security stepped up in west Nepal town

Officials reimposed a curfew in a western Nepalese border town Wednesday to prevent more deadly clashes between residents and rural migrants, an official said.
The curfew was initially imposed in Nepalgunj on Tuesday after street battles between the groups left one person dead and at least 25 injured, while several houses and shops were set on fire.
The curfew was lifted on Wednesday morning, but reimposed after three hours because the rival groups appeared to be gathering across the town in preparation for more clashes, government administrative official Krishna Acharya said.
Minor clashes were reported Wednesday, although police were able to keep the situation from spiraling out of control, a police official, who declined to be named due to policy, said.
At least a dozen people were detained, he said.
Eyewitnesses said some shops were looted and set on fire on Wednesday.
Migrants from the mountains surrounding Nepalgunj _ which lies some 500 kilometers (310 miles) west of the capital Katmandu _ clashed with local residents after accusing them of burning their cars during a protest. A fiery verbal exchange quickly turned into a street battle.
Riot police have been brought in from other areas to assist local officers, and government officials have been meeting with local leaders to try to calm the situation, Acharya said.
There is a long history of communal divisions between people in mountainous regions and those living in the Himalayan nation's southern plains.
The people in the southern plains, known as the Madeshi, have long complained of discrimination, including being denied citizenship and other rights.
They say that because the capital is in the northern mountains, and that the majority of the kingdom's rulers all hail from that area, they are left out of the development and policy making.
The fresh conflict also comes at a time when Nepal is passing through a turbulent peace process between the government and communist rebels.
The Maoist rebels have signed a peace accord after 11 years of fighting and are set to join a government restoring peace in this Himalayan nation.


Updated : 2021-04-11 08:02 GMT+08:00