At least three Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) troopers and as many smugglers were injured in a clash along the India-Nepal border on Wednesday, a top officer said.
SSB Inspector General Ashok Kumar Singh, who is based in Patna, told IANS over phone that the incident took place around 5 a.m. in Indian territory facing Nepal's Haripur village.
Singh said a team of five SSB personnel - including an assistant sub-inspector, a head constable and three constables - were on patrolling duty when the incident occurred.
He said his personnel saw some men smuggling materials like diesel, petrol and fertilizers from Indian side to Nepal.
"Petrol, diesel and fertilizers are prohibited materials. The smugglers, who were in large numbers, attacked our men when they stopped them," Singh told IANS.
"In the meantime, some residents of Haripur village in Nepal reached the spot and joined the smugglers. They also caught our head constable and tried to pull him towards Nepal side," Singh added.
Singh said further said one of the constables of then fired six rounds in the air realising danger to their life.
"The attackers were residents of Nepal and they fled to their village. Three of them received injuries," Singh said. Our three personnel also received injuries in the clash but they are out of danger, he added.
"Later, we came to know from the officers of Nepal Armed Police Force that three villagers of Nepal received bullet injuries in the firing," Singh said.
Asked if the SSB has shared the information with the union home ministry, Singh said: "We have sent information regarding the incident to the SSB headquarters and most probably they would have shared it with the ministry of home affairs.
Singh also clarified that the incident took place on the Indian side of the border. "Nepalese are claiming that SSB personnel fired bullets inside Nepal, but it is totally wrong."