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Tarai still tense

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

As three major parties try to push through a new constitution despite the walkout of Madhesi parties, situation continues to worsen in the Tarai.

In Biratnagar, protesters tried to burn five policemen alive on Wednesday. A group of nearly 200 protesters vandalised a security post, poured kerosene on policemen but fled after an additional force intervened by firing in the air.

“Had we not reached there on time, they would have burnt our men alive,” said DSP Pramod Kharel. After the incident, the post where protesters attacked has been evacuated.

In Saptari, a protester was killed in police firing on Tuesday. Police said they had to open fire when protesters attacked them in Bhardaha while escorting vehicles through the blocked highway. The dead has been identified as 60-year-old Ram Kisan Raut, a resident of Portaha VDC-2 of Saptari district.

Raut has been a second protester to die in police firing in Saptari after Madhesi parties launched a street movement last month against demarcation of federal provinces. Earlier, 25-year-old Rajiv Raut had died in police firing in Bharadaha of Saptari on 18 August. After his death, Madhesi parties enforced an indefinite general strike that continues to cripple life across the Tarai for the fourth consecutive week.

After major parties demarcated federal provinces on 8 August, 30 people, including 10 security personnel, have lost their lives in several parts of the country, mostly in the plains.  However, there have not been serious efforts from either side to initiate political dialogues and resolve contentious issues through talks.

In Birganj, where five protesters were killed last week, protesters attacked a truck on Tuesday. Curfew imposed by the local administration after last week’s violent clashes continues in Birganj.

All Madhesi parties, including Bijay Kumar Gachhadar’s MJF (D) and Upendra Yadav’s Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN), have already walked out of the constitution writing process, expressing dissatisfaction with the way federal provinces are being carved out.

The Hindu royalist RPP-N, which has 25 members in the Constituent Assembly (CA), also decided to stay out of the process on Tuesday. The RPP-N has been demanding restoration of a Hindu nation and is miffed at major parties’ decision to include a clause of secularism in the new constitution.

Despite protests by Madhesi and other fringe parties, the NC, the UML and the UCPN (M) have continued with clause-wise deliberations on the new constitution. They are planning to conduct a vote on the constitution next week.

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One Response to “Tarai still tense”

  1. Suraj on Says:

    Madhesi mang pura garnus

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