India alarmed by rising mob attacks near Nepal border

April 27th, 2009 - 5:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, April 27 (IANS) Concerned by the growing mob attacks in Nepal’s Terai region near the Indian border, the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu has asked its security and other related departments to look into the incidents and take appropriate action.
Before he left for New Delhi Thursday for consultations about the new political developments in this country, India’s ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood gave instructions to the departments concerned to look into the killings, the embassy said.

At least eight people, including women, have been murdered, and more than a dozen injured as villagers in Nepal’s Terai districts have begun attacking strangers, incited by reports that they were kidnappers trying to lift children.

A section of the local media and the state media, which is controlled by the ruling Maoist party, have been alleging that the gangs were coming from India.

Most of the deaths occurred in Dhanusha district this month. A woman was doused with petrol and set afire, one was held down in a pond and suffocated to death while five more were beaten to death.

Of the five, a woman victim who had been rescued by police and taken to hospital was dragged out and lynched.

Another woman was beaten to death in Mahottari district.

While police say some of the victims could not be identified, the state-run Nepal Television channel has been projecting them as child lifters from India, especially West Bengal state.

“We are asking the media to be more responsible,” said inspector Shyam Subba. “The people coming under attack are mostly beggars and mentally unbalanced people. They do not carry any identity card, nor can they be identified by their speech since they mostly speak Maithili, which is used on both sides of the border. If the attacks continue, they are bound to affect India-Nepal relations.”

While police say many of those coming under attack were innocent travellers “like a group of eight astrologers from Maharashtra” and the rescued people have to be kept in custody for their own safety, Nepal’s official media has been projecting them as “Indian criminals arrested by police”.

The fresh anti-India propaganda comes after allegations by Maoists that India was encroaching on Nepali territory.

About a month ago, the media in this country started saying that people living in Nepal’s border villages were living in terror of Indian criminals, especially kidnappers.

There is growing anti-India propaganda with the state media even turning its sights on the use of Indian mobile telephones in Nepal’s border villages and Indian politicians using Nepal’s village FM stations for their campaigns.

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