Indo-Nepal border sealed after Indian vehicles vandalised

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Jalpaiguri, Feb 3 (UNI) The Indo-Nepal border was today sealed near Panitanki area here, where 15 vehicles, including two with Indian registration numbers, were vandalised and set afire yesterday in Nepal's Birta crossing area.

North Bengal Police here said border security was tightened with their personnel constantly patrolling the area on the Indian side.

On the Nepalese side, vehicular traffic had been stopped and the border sealed off to avoid any spill over of the violence into the Indian side.

IG, North Bengal, R S Nalowa said the incident occurred when members of the Limbu community, who were protesting near the border area, vandalised the vehicles and set them on fire. He said that no one was injured as the passengers had been boarded off before setting the vehicles on fire.

''They were public transports, which were emptied before setting them on fire,'' he said and added, ''The Centre and the State government had been informed of the incident.'' The Nepal police and the Jhapa DM are in constant touch with him, he said.

The IG informed that the people of this community had demanded a separate state within Nepal, in view of which they had called for an indefinite strike in their country, starting from today.

Meanwhile, reliable sources said that the Nepal police arrested three leaders of the community for allegedly collecting money for their party on friday. The members, in retaliation, vandalised about 15 vehicles at Birta crossing, including the two having Indian registrations and set them on fire.

UNI XC-LL PC PK HT1957

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