A curfew has been enforced in the Barahathawa market area in Sarlahi district, Nepal, following a clash between police and protesters resulting in the death of a youth. The protest was organized by locals opposing the Barahathawa Municipality’s decision to transfer a 15-bed primary health center to provincial authorities. Tensions escalated as protesters vandalized the municipal office and the residence of Municipality Chair Kalpana Kumari Katuwal, prompting the police to use tear gas and gunfire to disperse the unruly crowd. The cause of the youth’s death is yet to be determined, according to the Chief District Officer.
The dispute arose from discussions on upgrading the 15-bed municipal hospital to a 50-bed facility and handing it over to Madhesh provincial authorities. An all-party meeting was called to address the matter, but it turned violent after being adjourned. This incident marks the third death in Nepal within a week and the fourth in the last month due to clashes between police and protesters, reflecting a concerning trend of police brutality and excessive force in the country.
In a broader context, Nepal has witnessed increased instances of police using baton charges and violence during demonstrations, with armed interventions sometimes leading to gunfire to control crowds. The incident highlights the need for addressing social and political tensions to prevent further escalation and fatalities, as well as the importance of peaceful resolution mechanisms in handling disputes.