DHNGADHI: Despite the negotiations between the far-west talks team and government started in the Capital, far-west bandh continued for 16th consecutive day today.
The protracted general shutdown has severely crippled the normal life in the region. Saying that strike had paralysed normal life, Hemraj Sapkota of Kailali’s Sahajpur and Suresh Pant of Dhangadi started fast-unto-death from today.
Sapkota started hunger strike from 8 am and Pant from 3 pm. Both have demanded ethnic and social harmony and immediate end of indefinite strike. Sapkota said that he would not suspend hunger strike unless the general strike was withdrawn.
Meanwhile, Tharuhat activists set a motorbike ablaze at Dhangadi’s Jai. The two-wheeler was returning after dropping the patient at the hospital. Tharuhat cadres also vandalised a shop at Ghodsuwa of Shrrepu Kailali on Friday night. Shop owner Krishna Thapa and neighbour Hukum Bista were injured when the bandh enforcers pelted stones at them. Krishna has received a deep cut to his head.
Kailali chapter of the Federation of Nepali Journalists today said that its attention was drawn towards the remarks aired by Tharuhat Tarai party chairman Laxman Tharu and chairman Raj Kumar Lekhi of Federation of Nepalese Indigenous Nationality at yesterday’s gathering in Dhangadi.
A press release issued by Bharat Sha of Kailai chapter of the Federation of Nepali Journalists says that Lekhi had warned they could thrash mediapersons where as Laxman Tharu had threatened to chase the journalists away if news was not covered in favour of Tharus.
The press release urges the political parties to protect press freedom and freedom of expression.
In the mean time, a dead body of Haridutta Bhatta Kaluwapur of Kanchanpur was found from the banks of the Mohana River in Kailali today, police said. Police suspect that Bhatat might have killed self.
However, SP Basanta Basanta Pant said that deceased’s wife has filed a case in the District Police Office saying that her husband was murdered.
Pant said that reports of the autopsy would help officials investigate into the incident.
Closure catches on in Mid-west
NEPALGUNJ: People of the Mid-west have also announced indefinite bandh seeking an intact Mid-west. Agitators held demonstrations at Bardia headquarters Gulariya on Saturday. Dinesh Shrestha, coordinator of the struggle committee for undivided Mid-west, pledged to continue the bandh until their demand was met. “We won’t stop the agitation under any pretext but intensify it,” he vowed. The first day of the bandh affected life in Banke and Bardia districts. While market places were completely shut and vehicles stayed off the roads in Bardia, Banke was partially shut. Life in Nepalgunj continued as usual, but Kohalpur was completely shut with no vehicles plying and bazaars shut.
Labourers left in the lurch
ACCHAM: Daily wage labourers in Accham are having difficulty earning their daily keep. Labourers who earned their livelihood as porters or construction workers in Mangalsen, Sanfebagar and other major business hubs of the district have been laid off with daily activities coming to a halt. “So far we have managed to survive, but with the bandh showing no sign of ending, from tomorrow my family won’t have anything to eat,” lamented Surendra Bhandari, a labourer of Mangalsen. The bandh has also caused shortage of daily essentials like rice and cooking oil, while traders have used the situation for profiteering.