Five Indian police personnel in uniform and carrying weapons have been arrested along with their driver in far-western Nepal’s Doti district for illegally entering the Himalayan nation, officials said on Monday.
The Indian police personnel were ostensibly in pursuit of a Nepali national wanted in connection with the murder of a Punjab-based doctor, it is learnt.
The five Punjab Police personnel were identified as Inspector Roshan Lal, Assistant Inspector Shashi Kapoor, Assistant Sub Inspector Jaspal Singh and Havaldars Savash Singh and General Singh.
Jeep driver Ganga Deep Sharma was also arrested by police in Sanagaun in Doti district on Sunday for illegally entering Nepal with weapons.
They were handed over to neighbouring Kailali district police on Sunday evening.
Nepal Police said they "sneaked" into the country on Saturday evening.
Security officials from both sides are mandatorily required to take prior permission while travelling in the other country in uniform and carrying weapons.
The Indian police personnel had one AK-47 rifle, a pistol and 37 rounds of ammunition.
Their vehicle, bearing an Indian number plate, was also seized.
Meanwhile, customs officials at the Gadda Chauki border point, in Kanchanpur district, said the Indian police personnel had taken permission to visit Nepal for three days.
Before they reached Doti — after crossing Kanchanpur district, the Indian police personnel were asked to stop by Nepal Police in Acham district "but they sped away", officials said.
ASI Tej Bahadur Khadka said: "As soon as we saw the Indian vehicle with police personnel, we tried to stop it but they sped away. How come they crossed two districts before reaching Doti?"
The Indian police personnel had entered Nepal from the Indian state of Uttarakhand through the border in Kanchanpur district searching for a Nepali man who is accused in the murder of a Punjab-based doctor.
Ram Prasad Regmi, chief of the Gadda Chauki customs unit, said the Indians paid customs duty for their belongings.
Police in Kailali have launched an investigation and will hand them over to Indian authorities after completing their investigation.