Four Indians arrested from Nepal restaurant
Apr 17, 2007 - 1:51:18 PM

Kathmandu, April 17 - Four Indians were among 16 people arrested from a restaurant in southern Nepal on the suspicion they were involved in criminal activities, a report said.

Indians, Ganga Prasad Mahato, a resident of Madhubani district in Bihar, Rupan Shah, Diwakar Chaudhary and Vinod Ram were arrested Sunday night from Sangam restaurant in Janakpur town in Dhanusha district, Kantipur, Nepal's largest selling daily, said Tuesday.

Acting on a tipoff that a gang of miscreants were planning criminal activities in the restaurant, police raided the joint and arrested 16 people, including the owner of the restaurant, Sanjay Shah, the daily said.

A member of the group was found to be carrying a locally made firearm, the daily said, quoting a senior police official.

However, the report could not be immediately confirmed.

Nepal's government this month announced it would crack down on people found in possession of illegal arms.

It asked the owners to surrender unregistered firearms and ammunition by April 8, following fears by the United Nations that several groups possessed illegal weapons, which was likely to jeopardise the election, earlier scheduled for June 20.

However, the government warning that people failing to turn in illegal arms within the deadline would be punished fell on deaf ears with not a single arm being surrendered.

Last month, 29 people were killed in clashes between the Maoists and an ethnic group. The Maoists blame the toll on mercenaries from Bihar sent by Hindu extremists from India in a bid to save Nepal's monarchy from being abolished.

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