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Trouble in Biratnagar

Saturday, December 26th, 2015



Madhesi leader Rajendra Mahato before being injured in a clash with police in Biratnagar on Saturday.

A clash erupted between police and protesters in Biratnagar on Saturday when Madhesi leader Rajendra Mahato tried to block the Jogbani border point.

Mahato, President of Sadbhavana Party, had reached Jogabani, an Indian town adjacent to Biratnagar, to attend a political event on Saturday morning. He returned to Biratnagar in the afternoon and began a sit-in at the check-point, disrupting import of fuel and other essential commodities.

Police asked Mahato and his supporters to leave the check point, but he refused and instead began shouting slogans against the government. Police then used tear gas to disperse agitators. A clash ensued, and Mahato, among other protesters, sustained injuries to his head and legs. He was taken to Jogbani by his supporters.

After being chased away from the check-point, Madhesi protesters hurled stones and bricks for about 15 minutes into Nepal targeting securing personnel. They were later chased away by India’s Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB).

Tension ran high for hours near the border point in Biratnagar, and supply of essentials through Jogabani has once again come to a halt.

After India welcomed Nepal’s decision to amend the constitution to ensure proportional representation of Madhesi people and set up a committee to resolve dispute over federal boundaries, more trucks carrying fuel, medicine and other commodities were entering through the Jogbani border point.

But after Saturday’s clash, it is not certain when import through Jogbani will resume.

Mahato, who created trouble in Biratnagar on Saturday, is believed to be a hardliner within Madhesi Morcha. After India warned of disruption of supply citing violence in Nepal’s southern plains on 21 September, an emergency meeting of the Morcha on 23 September had decided to block all border points.

Mahato was assigned to lead a sit-in at Birganj – a task which he has effectively fulfilled so far. Nearly 70 per cent of fuel is imported through Birganj, and Mahato-led protesters are still staging a sit-in there. Upendra Yadav, another top Madhesi leader, was assigned to Biratnagar. But Yadav has rarely reached Biratangar since September, and import through Jogbani was not much affected by protesters even before India’s latest statement.

It seems that Mahato is not happy with Yadav’s performance, and he is himself trying to block Jogbani. Sources also say Yadav and senior Madhesi leader Mahant Thakur are for flexibility, but Mahato is against withdrawing protests until the government agrees to put Sunsari, Morang and Jhapa in Madhes province.



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3 Responses to “Trouble in Biratnagar”

  1. Whatever on Says:

    This pesky nd problematic Rajendra Mahato must be treated as a traitor to the nation as he has been involved so far in creating havoc nd mayhem in the country. This guy should be put behind bars so as to avoid any more suffering of the mass. He is not a responsible politico, but a rogue whose only intent is to inflict maximum of harm onto Nepal. He has already crossed the red line.

  2. Boryal on Says:

    This clearly shows who are the ppl blocking the border points. The political parties and media outlets are whipping public sentiments by accusing India, while India has already welcomed Nepal’s declaration to amend the constitution. The Oli govt has failed utterly and the govt machinery is being misused to spread lies. This govt is responsible for misunderstanding with India and western countries and is a misfortune for Nepalese public. Oli and his close group of ministers squandered everything that pushed Nepal to dark ages.

  3. kalibaba on Says:

    poor guy got a scratch on his head. cry baby. anyway he was hurt on the indian side so he should go an complain to his ‘ Malik ‘ shri modi. chota karosh hai mahato ji.haldi lagalo.
    kyyo drama kar rahai ho yar.

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