KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Nepali police shot dead at least two demonstrators and injured about a dozen others on Monday after they attacked buildings during a protest against proposals for administrative reform in the Himalayan country.
Hundreds of people were protesting against government-backed plans to divide their province into two, part of a regional administrative overhaul envisaged in a new federal constitution that Kathmandu hopes to finalize this month.
Local police official Rajesh Kumar Lal Karna told Reuters the protesters had defied a curfew in the town of Surkhet and had begun throwing stones at public and private buildings.
They then broke the gates of a government office, tried to set ablaze the home of a local politician and vandalized the offices of major political parties which support the administrative reforms, Karna said.
“Two people were killed in the shooting and about a dozen others were injured,” Karna said, without providing any details.
Surkhet is the capital of Nepal’s mid-western region, some 350 km (200 miles) west of Kathmandu. Under the constitutional proposals due to be finalised this month, the state will be split into two separate provinces.
The government and major political parties hope that the new constitution, which divides the nation into six regions, will bolster economic development in Nepal, which is still reeling from two devastating earthquakes that killed 8,900 people this year.
Editing by Mayank Bhardwaj and Gareth Jones