Nepalgunj, September 2
Although the strikes being staged in various parts of the country have generally been marked by violence, folks in Nepalgunj have started a peaceful agitation in Banke.
Tharuhat Madhes Joint Struggle Committee has been protesting with various demands for the last 22 days. But the difference is that they have been protesting peacefully.
The demonstration in Banke has spread the message of peace across the country. The agitators have complied with the appeal of human rights activists, police and the administration and protested peacefully.
When the agitators take their round and reach the venue where the rally turns into a corner meet, security personnel return quietly.
Banke CDO Bed Prasad Lekhak said the agitators provide their protest programme and behave responsibly by exercising restraint.
The shops open and motorbikes, scooters, and light vehicles ply on the road, but demonstrators do not obstruct them.
As the police know the route the protesters will be taking on their way to one of the chowks in Nepalgunj, they make sure that they change the route for vehicles as well so that they can ensure uninterrupted flow of traffic on the road.
Peaceful agitation was possible mainly because the agitators agreed not to wield sticks, weapons, or use children and the elderly in their demonstrations.
Murari Kharel, National Human Rights Commission regional chief, said that the ongoing agitation in Nepalgunj had become a model of restraint that agitators elsewhere ought to follow.
He said that NHRC had cautioned both the security forces and the agitators against violating the human rights of others by engaging in violent activities and threats and intimidation.
Madhesi Tharuhat Struggle Committee Secretary Lalit Rauniyar said that they were trying their best to make the agitation peaceful and dignified.
The struggle committee has also allowed long route buses as well as cargo trucks to ply without any obstruction whatsoever, said locals.
A version of this article appears in print on September 03, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.