Nepalgunj, August 23
Life was crippled in various parts of the country due to the ongoing indefinite general strike called by United Democratic Madhesi Front and Joint Tharuhat Struggle Committee and the first day of the two-day general strike called by Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities today.
The indefinite general strike called by UDMF and JTSC reached its ninth day today. The agitating forces came up with protest opposing the preliminary draft of the new constitution and the new federal structures with boundaries, which was unveiled by the major forces in the CA.
Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationality announced a two-day general strike across the country demanding federal provinces based on identity and autonomous regions.
Security personnel opened four rounds of tear gas shells when the agitating activists of Madhesi Front and Tharuhat pelted stones at District administration Office in the afternoon.
SP Govinda Ram Pariyar of DPO said that they fired tear gas shells to disperse the agitators as they had pelted stones at the office suddenly. They had to baton-charge demonstrators as well.
Nepalgunj also remained tense today with a clash between bandh enforcers and locals, who came to defy the bandh today. Local traders in the bazaar area staged demonstration at Setu BK Chowk and Pushpa Lal Chowk against bandh enforcers and opened their shops. People had to stay in the middle while Madhesi Front cadres were chanting slogans against people of hill origin and vice-versa at Dhambojhi Chowk today. The bandh enforcers padlocked the office of Nepalgunj Sub-metropolitan city today.
Rautahat Chambers of Commerce expressed solidarity with the ongoing strike called by the Madhesi Front today. Kantamani Prasad Jayaswal, chairman of the organisation said they had decided to join the protest as all businesspersons had agreed to do so.
Hundreds of cadres of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum also joined the protest with bamboo sticks and moved around Gaur.
The front staged peace rallies in Ramchowk, Mahabirchowk, Puranobazaar of Janakpurdham in Dhanusha today. People from different professions, entrepreneurs, civil society, youth clubs and other social organisations joined the agitation today.
The Madhesi Front took out a motorcycle rally from Piradi of Janakpurdham and it turned into a corner meet. Life in Siraha, Sarlahi, Bara, Parsa, Mahottari and Nawalparasi among other districts, was significantly affected due to the closure today.
The two-day bandh called by the indigenous nationalities affected life in Tanahun, Gorkha, Lamjung, Syangja, Palpa and Kaski.
Schools, transportation, colleges, industries and market places of the districts were affected. Long and short route vehicles stayed off the road. A large number of bandh enforcers along with the security personnel were present at the main chowks and bazaars.
A version of this article appears in print on August 24, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.