Nepal vigilantes detain another Indian

April 29th, 2009 - 6:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, April 29 (IANS) An Indian man, said to be in his 40s and apparently mentally unbalanced, has been taken into control by villagers in a Nepali town near the Indian border and handed over to police amidst allegations that he was a kidnapper as anti-Indian propaganda continued to incite mob fury in Nepal’s Terai lowlands.
The man told police his name was Dugraj Nisad and he lived in Raygad in India’s Bihar state across the border.

Nisad, who comes from a disadvantaged community in India, was found wandering in the market area of Rajbiraj town in Nepal’s Saptari district Wednesday morning.

Nepal’s border villages have been pervaded by rising xenophobia that have been fuelled by media reports that Indian criminal gangs have fanned out in the Terai to steal young children from Nepal, resulting in villagers attacking strangers indiscriminately.

However, Nisad was not harmed, police said.

“He seems to be mentally unbalanced,” police officer Rajeev Karki told IANS. “We are questioning him but his answers are incoherent.”

Police said there were rising reports of attacks against straying beggars, tramps and the mentally ill on the fear that they were kidnappers trying to steal little children in order to “gouge out their eyes or sell their kidneys”.

Though Saptari police said there were no incidents of strangers being lynched to death in the district, at least eight people, including women, have been brutally murdered, and more than a dozen injured in neighbouring districts.

According to reports, 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 drowned 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.

There is growing anti-India propaganda with the local media attributing border crimes to gangs from India.

Even Tuesday, Nepal’s biggest private television station Kantipur said two unidentified men who had exploded a bomb near a businessman’s residence in Birgunj town and wounded a bystander who tried to halt them were part of a gang run by an Indian criminal called Pappu Sharma.

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