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Army deployed in Sunsari

Friday, September 11th, 2015
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tarai unrest

Pic: Eklabya Ishwar

The local administration has declared parts of the East-West highway and the Koshi highway as riot zones. Nepal Army troupes are patrolling the East-West highway from the Koshi barrage to Itahari and the Koshi highway from Itahari to Duhabi since Friday morning after the District Administration Office of Sunsari declared these areas as riot zones.

On Thursday, the local administration had declared these areas as prohibited zones after protesters attacked vehicles in Duhabi, Itahari and Inaruwa. But protesters continued to defy prohibitory order, forcing the local administration to deploy the army to quell riots.

Sunsari’s CDO Rabi Lal Panth said: “Deploying the army was the only option left as protesters continued to enter prohibited zone.” Even in Saptari, the local administration has declared the East West highway, where two people have died so far after protests over demarcation of federal provinces began in mid August, as a disturbed zone.”Protesters are carrying home-made weapons, and police alone are not able to stop them,” said Saptari’s CDO Birendra Prasad Yadav.

After the major political parties reached an agreement on 8 August to carve out seven federal provinces in Nepal, Madhes has been witnessing violent protests. As many 33 people, mostly in the Tarai, have lost their lives. Madhesi parties have been on the warpath demanding no more than two provinces in the Tarai.

Although the major parties have created just two provinces in the Tarai, some plains district like Sunsari, Morang, Jhapa, Chitwan, Kailali and Kanchanpur have been put in the hill provinces. Madhesi parties want at least southern belts of these disputed districts in the Madhes provinces.

Back in Kathmandu, the Constituent Assembly (CA) is now holding clause-wise deliberations on the draft constitution and is planning to promulgate it by mid September. The NC, the UML and the UCPN (M) had appealed to the Madhesi parties to come to talks and resolve the current political crisis through negotiations on Wednesday. But the Madhesi Front, which is an alliance of four Madhesi parties, rejected the appeal and decided to continue with agitation.

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