An Indian civilian was killed and two others injured in alleged firing by Nepalese paramilitary forces inside Nepal’s territory near the border with Bihar’s Sitamarhi district on Friday, PTI reported. Nepal’s Armed Police Force also detained an individual.

The incident took place between Jankinagar of Sitamarhi district in Bihar and Sarlahi in Nepal.

Sashastra Seema Bal Director General Kumar Rajesh Chandra told the news agency that the incident took place around 8:40 am “deep inside Nepalese territory”. He added that the situation is now back to normal and local commanders were in touch with their Nepalese counterparts.

Local residents told PTI that the confrontation began when the Armed Police Force saw a woman from Nepal talking to people on the Indian side. The woman is the daughter-in-law of a man named Laagan Yadav, who was later taken into custody by the paramilitary force. The Nepalese paramilitary objected to the meeting, which led to an argument between the two sides. Around 80 people eventually gathered at the spot.

The Nepalese force claimed they fired in the air to disperse the crowd. The Armed Police Force added that they only fired at the individuals because they feared that their weapons would be taken.

The deceased man has been identified as 22-year-old Vikesh Yadav. The two injured men, Uday Thakur and Umesh Ram, were taken to a private hospital in Sitamarhi.

Unidentified officials told PTI that there is no fence at the border in Sitamarhi district and people move about freely to meet their families.

Tensions have flared between India and Nepal over the last couple of months over the areas of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura, which are part of Indian territory but claimed by the neighbouring country. On May 31, the Nepal government introduced a bill in Parliament aimed at altering the country’s map to show Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as falling within the country’s borders. Nepal maintains that India has claimed the three areas by building a road over it.

The border dispute

The dispute began after New Delhi issued an official map last year, including the Kalapani and Lipulekh area that Nepal regards as its own. The tension escalated further after India inaugurated the 80-km road in Uttarakhand, which connects close to the Line of Actual Control and opens a new route for Kailash Mansarovar yatra via the Lipulekh pass. Nepal has repeatedly claimed this was a breach of an agreement between the two countries, but India has said the new route is “completely within the territory” of the country.

Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had told the Nepalese Parliament earlier in May that his government would reclaim the disputed region. He had also blamed India for the spread of the coronavirus in his country. However, this is the first instance of Nepalese firing on the Indian border.