New Delhi/Kathmandu, Nov 29:
Nepal has freed two Indian security personnel who were detained after they entered the Himalayan nation while chasing smugglers on Sunday, a senior official said.
The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) official said a patrolling party of 13 men was after smugglers near the India-Nepal border when constables Roshan and Ram Prasad mistakenly entered Nepal in foggy weather.
Both were detained by authorities there. Nepalese media earlier reported that 13 SSB personnel were detained.
Both SSB personnel were released in the afternoon, and they have returned to Indian territory, the official told IANS.
The Kathmandu Post Times reported earlier that the Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) detained 13 SSB men at Kechana in Jhapa after they entered Nepal while chasing oil smugglers.
They were kept at an APF camp in Kechana, it said.
Jhapa Chief District Officer Tej Prasad Poudel said they were trying to ascertain if the SSB personnel mistakenly entered Nepal.
Residents were quoted as saying that the detained SSB personnel had thrashed a Nepali, Mohammad Alam, while searching his home for smugglers. Four of the 13 SSB personnel had weapons, the report said.
The APF team reached Alam’s house and detained the Indians.
The SSB personnel reportedly entered Nepal by crossing the no man’s land from Kechana, the media reports said.
Smuggling of petrol and diesel has become rampant on the India-Nepal border ever since protests in Madhesi populated areas since September has effectively led to a blockade of the border.
Meanwhile, an Indian number plate bearing jeep was vandalized at Kanchanpur in Nepal, a media report said. Five Maoist cadres were detained following the incident, The Kathmandu Post said.
Police escorted the vandalized jeep across the border into India. (IANS)