Kathmandu, February 27:

Representatives and students from the Karnali region today organised a symbolic protest by wearing black bands on their wrists to press the government on meeting their demand to declare Karnali an autonomous region.

At the programme organised jointly by the Remote Area Development (RAD)-Nepal and nine other organisations working for the development of Karnali, the protesters said that Karnali, which covers 15 per cent of the country’s total area, should not be underestimated on the basis of population. Prem Singh Dhami, central member of the RAD-Nepal, said: “It is important to represent geographical regions in the new model of Nepal to make it perfect.” Dhami also argued that the government should acknowledge their contribution in Jana Andolan-II and consider their demands.

Dr Lalan Chaudhary, vice-chairperson of RAD-Nepal, warned that if the government did not listen to the Karnali’s voice, they would declare Karnali as autonomous region and use the resources of Karnali.

RAD-Nepal chief Gorakh Bahadur BC said within a week they would announce protest programmes to draw the government’s attention.