Siraha, January 24:

A pregnant woman died due to lack of treatment during curfew hours today. Sunita Mahato, 24, of Govindapur-8 died, as she couldn’t get treatment on time, Dr Pashupati Chaudhari of the Lahan hospital said.

Mahato went into labour last night and she died after an ambulance could not be arranged on time due to curfew.

Curfew was clamped till 4 am this morning. She died at around 5 am today while being taken to Lahan hospital on a motorcycle.

CDO of Siraha Sashi Sekhar Shrestha said the situation was relatively peaceful in Lahan today. The District Administration Office (DAO) clamped an eight-hour curfew starting from 10 am till 6 pm today in Lahan.

A rally was staged in Siraha today by the Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum (MJF) activists. The rallyists passed through different thoroughfares of the city chanting slogans against the Maoists and Home Minister KP Sitaula.

The rally converged into a corner meet after reaching Imlichowk. Addressing the corner meet, former DDC chairman Umesh Chandra Das and Surendra Yadav of MJF demanded Sitaula’s resignation.

MJF activists burnt effigies of Maoist leader Matrika Yadav and Home Minister Sitaula in Ramnagar, Mirchaiya. Though curfew wasn’t enforced in Siraha, bazaars and academic institutions were shut. Vehicular movement also remained halted. Meanwhile, the SLC sent-up examinations scheduled from January 25 have been postponed indefinitely.

In Bara, shops and academic institutions in the district headquarters Kalaiya remained closed. The MJF activists burnt tyres in around half a dozen places on the Kalaiya-Birgunj road section.

A demonstration, participated in by almost 10,000 people, was staged in Inarua today. Demonstrations were held in Bhantabari, Laukahi, Koshi barrage and Duhabi of the district as well, MJF Sunsari chairman SN Mehta said. Meanwhile, district leaders of MJF did not attend the meeting called by the district leaders of the eight political parties and DAO.

Normal life was crippled in Siraha, Mahottari, Dhanusha, Morang, Rautahat, Bara and Parsa due to the bandh called by MJF.

Altogether four persons have been killed in Lahan so far during demonstrations that started after a student was killed in a Maoist firing on January 19.

The district administration office, Siraha, has imposed curfew in Lahan Municipality and surrounding areas from 07:00 am on Thursday till 6:00 pm in the evening. The curfew time today was from 10:00 am till 6:00 pm.

A report from Kavre quoted member of the interim parliament and CPN-Maoist central member Heet Bahadur Tamang as claiming that the ongoing agitation in the Terai is respectable. “As the ongoing agitation is launched for the racial rights, the Maoists will not create obstruction in it,” he said. Tamang was speaking at a reception held by the Joint Republican Front Nepal in the honour of Tamang parliamentarians in Banepa today.

A report from Rautahat quoted member of the interim parliament and central general secretary of Madheshi Rastriya Mukti Morcha Prabhu Shah as saying the Maoists are sensitive to Madhesh and Madheshi’s rights. He was speaking at a function to honour Maoist members of the interim parliament.

A report from Rajbiraj quoted three central members of the NSP (A) as urging for intensifying the ongoing agitation in Terai. Party’s central treasurer Dilip Kumar Singh, members Mahesh Prasad Yadav and Manish Kumar Suman issuing the press release today urged to intensify the agitation.

A report from Kathmandu said RJP Chairman and former PM Surya Bahadur Thapa and party central leader Sarbendra Nath Shukla today visited the Birendra Military Hospital, Chhauni and met people who were admitted at the hospital. The people were injured in the Lahan incident.

Meanwhile, bodies of two persons killed during Lahan unrest were handed over to their families at the Birendra military hospital in Chauni today. The RPP Nepal also demanded compensation for victims of Lahan’s incident.

Janajati leaders today demanded that the government and the agitating party must keep a close watch on the infiltration of regressive forces in the unrest going on in some parts of the Terai.

HURON’s advice

KATHMANDU: The Human Rights Organisation of Nepal (HURON) on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala to send a written invitation to the outfits which are currently engaged in agitation in the Terai for talks. In a memorandum, HURON has urged the PM to include its members in the investigation of Lahan incident to “ensure credibility”. It has also asked the government to provide due compensation to the families of those who died in the incident as well as to the injured people. — HNS