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Violence returns to Tarai

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

After Madhesi Morcha announced fresh protests, violence clashes have erupted yet again in several parts of the Tarai.

One Madhesi protester died in a firing on Sunday in Gaur, a central Tarai town that has witnessed sporadic clashes between police and protesters since Saturday. The local administration has clamped curfew in Gaur to contain violence.

The dead has been identified as 17 years old Sheikh Tavrez. He was shot at when police opened fire to disperse protesters. A local police officer said they had to use live ammunition as tear gas failed to chase away protesters.

Nepal’s southern plains region, where the Morcha has been agitating against the new constitution over the last four months, was relatively calm since Chhath festival in mid November. Except for a sit-in at Birganj check-point, the Morcha had not held significant protest programs anywhere in the Tarai.

After Foreign Affairs Minister Kamal Thapa floated a four-point proposal to end the current political crisis during his New Delhi visit early this month, a deal with the Morcha had looked possible. India, which has overtly backed the Morcha, had also advised Madhesi leaders to consider the proposal by Nepal’s major political parties.

But the Morcha refused to accept the deal, and it unveiled its new protest programs on Friday. But it has remained silent over whether it will carry on sit-ins at border points, enabling New Delhi to justify its blockade on Nepal.

The Morcha has asked Madhesi people to descend on the streets to deliver ‘the final blow’ to Kathmandu so that its demands will be fulfilled.

After the major parties tabled a bill to amend the constitution last week without the Morcha’s consent, Madhesi parties have boycotted talks in Kathmandu. Madhesi leader Mahant Thakur has said that further talks will have to be in the Tarai.

Upendra Yadav, another top Madhesi leader, demanded Prime Minister KP Oli’s resignation on Sunday, saying the Madhes crisis will not be resolved so long as he stays put.

“Whenever a deal looks possible, he (Oli) delivers irresponsible speeches to foil it,” he said. “He probably knows he will have to step down soon, that is why he is acting so irresponsibly.”

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One Response to “Violence returns to Tarai”

  1. Rajesh on Says:

    Oli is behaving like Hitler. He is treating Madheshis like outsiders. We in India treat Nepalis like our brothers. They enjoy all facilities as we do. What you do with your constitution is your internal matter, but who orders shooting of his own people? Everything was so good between the two brothers before pro Chinese Oli came to power. Hope good old days are back soon.

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