India holding probe into allegations of firing at the Indo-Nepal border

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Movement through a disputed land close to pillar number 200 near Basahi (Kheri) on the India-Nepal border was suspended after a clash between Nepalese citizens and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) jawans. However, the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu denied any firing by any SSB personnel.

Gobinda Gautam, 32, of Punarbas in Kanchanpur died when Indian Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel opened fire on locals along the Nepal-India border on Thursday following a dispute over construction of a culvert.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Friday telephoned Nepal Prime Minister Prachanda and condoled Gautam's death.

"The SSB used only tear gas shells to disperse hundreds of agitated Nepalese citizens when they entered into India pelting stones on the SSB, civilians and even on the officials and attempted to set up Nepalese flag in the Indian territory", he said.

Leader Deuba has demanded the government to talk to the high-level diplomatic channel of India, investigate the incident and take necessary action and provide due security to Nepali people in the area.

The SSB said, "It is alleged in the media that one Nepalese citizen has died due to firing by SSB".

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Situation along the Indo-Nepal border in Lakhimpur Kheri is still "tense" and Nepalese people are shouting anti-India slogans, the SSB today said as it denied reports of firing by its men leading to the death of a person on the other side.

SSB commandant Dilbag Singh said: "SSB jawans on duty objected to (the construction)..."

"They were stopped from doing so as earlier the authorities from both sides had agreed to allow construction of culvert only after conducting a joint geological survey". He added, "The flag has been seized and the matter has been reported to government".

The SSB works under the command of the Union home ministry and is tasked with guarding the 1,751 km long Indo-Nepal border.

A press statement by the Embassy of India said Deputy Chief of Mission Kumar informed Foreign Secretary Bairagi of the decision "to initiate enquiry on the incident at the border of Lakhimpur Khiri-Kanchanpur districts".

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