KATHMANDU: Chinese nationals working in Nepal clashed with local Nepali people on Tuesday, defying the lockdown in the tiny Himalayan country, which has been put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The locals in Nepal’s Marsyangdi clashed with the employers of a Chinese company constructing a hydropower plant in Lamjung.
The villagers protested the movement of trucks carrying construction materials of Nyadi Hydropower Project based at Thulobesi in Marsyangi Rural Municipality-6 of Lamjung district, a local online media portal, Khabarhub reported.
The locals were agitated as the workers had just returned from China – the country where the coronavirus outbreak was first identified and later spread to the entire world, killing over 38,000 people.
The residents blocked the entrance to their village to avoid unnecessary movement of people. However, when two trucks used for transporting construction materials of the hydropower plant tried to enter their village by removing the blockage, the irate youths came out in protest.
Nepali news portal Khabarhub added that the Chinese retaliated by picking up the indigenous dagger ‘Khukuris’ to intimidate the locals.
A Nepali journalist Nabin Kuinkel was quoted as saying that the locals lost their cool after the Chinese brought the construction materials by clearing the barbed wire put up along the road.
A local, Karan Thapa, said that the Chinese retaliated when the local administration objected to their violation of the lockdown. “The locals protested after the Chinese violated the government’s instruction to refrain from coming out of the house,” he added.
The police, meanwhile, have called for a meeting between the two sides to seek a solution.
Nepal has sealed its borders with the neighbouring countries to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The land-locked country has so far reported five confirmed cases.