Nepal: Over 15 refugees injured in clash with Indian police; Beldangi curfew stays

Over 15 Bhutanese refugees were injured when Indian police used force to prevent the refugees from crossing the Mechi Bridge on the Nepal-Indian border on the second day of their 'Long March' to Bhutan Tuesday.

Reports say the Indian police baton-charged and used several rounds teargas shells after hundreds of refugees tried to cross the Mechi Bridge in Jhapa to enter India. The injured refugees have been undergoing treatment at Mechi Zonal Hospital and the condition of two of them is said to be critical.

Situation remains tense in and around Mechi Bridge due to frequent clashes between the refugees and Indian security men. India has deployed Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and combat forces of West Bengal Police to the refugees' Long March.

Over 15000 refugees are participating in the Long March.

Meanwhile, indefinite curfew continues in Beldangi refugee camp in Jhapa. The Jhapa district administration had imposed indefinite curfew there to prevent violence in the wake of relentless protests following the death of a refugee youth in police firing on Sunday. Another refugee was killed on Monday in police action when the refugees attacked the police and defied curfew orders. Some police personnel were also injured in the clash.