HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Life was affected in different parts of the country, including the Kathmandu Valley, today as the Joint Struggle Committee announced a bandh against ethnicity-based federal states and for the recognition of Brahmins, Chhetris, Dasnamis and Dalits as indigenous people.
Groups of people affiliated to the committee staged protests in the Kathmandu valley’s major chowks, including Koteshwor, Baneshwor and Gongabu.
Large number of Brahmins, Chhetris and local people obstructed vehicular movement and shouted slogans against ethnic states, which they said will disintegrate the country.
Most schools and colleges remained shut due to the bandh that mainly affected Grade XII students, who had hard time reaching their exams centres.
Prof Dil Bahadur Chhetri, president of the Chhetri Samaj, accused the government of robbing the country’s ‘real indigenous people’ — the Brahmins, Chhetris, Dashnamis and Dalits — of their identity. He said the government should recognise these people as indigenous and provide them rights in keeping with the ILO 169, which deals with the rights of the indigenous and tribal people.
He cautioned that formation of ethnicity-based federal states will disintegrate the country. Ramesh Giri, a Balkot local taking part in a protest at the Kaushaltar chowk in Bhaktapur, said protesters chased some anarchists, who tried to foil the bandh.
In some places, these anarchists interrogated the mediapersons and obstructed their movement, he said. Some unidentified people had tried to spoil the protest by dispatching press statements stating that the bandh was put off at midday and the vehicular movement was not blocked.
Police said they arrested around 60 enforcers in Kathmandu and 11 in Lalitpur during the bandh that saw vandalism of two taxis, seven buses and three motorbikes.
More than 4,500 police personnel had been deployed in Kathmandu to avert any unwanted incident.
Maoist lawmakers thrashed
Kathmandu: Bandh enforcers today thrashed Constituent Assembly members from the UCPN- Maoist, Sudan Rai and Laxmi Gurung, in Koteshwor. According to police, the enforcers attacked the lawmakers on the charge of defying the bandh. Talking to the media, the lawmakers confirmed the attack that occurred at around 11.30 am. In a press statement, Kirat Rai Students’ Union condemned the incident and warned the strike enforcers not to give communal and ethnic colour to the protest while pressing for the fulfillment of their demands. The union urged the government to take action against the guilty. The CA members came under attack when they were on the way to the CA on a motorcycle. Maoist Chief Whip Dev Gurung also flayed the attack accusing the bandh organisers of trying to spread communal hatred by attacking lawmakers Rai and Gurung. He also appealed to the government to investigate the incident and bring the guilty to book.