FA cadres picket outside Singha Durbar

Kathmandu, May 15

Hundreds of cadres and leaders associated with constituents of the Federal Alliance today picketed outside Singha Durbar, bringing traffic to a grinding halt.

The protesters, who shouted slogans in favour of identity-based federalism and inclusive constitution, blocked the entrance to the south gate of Singha Durbar mainly from Hanumanthan and Maitighar area.

Constituents of the Federal Alliance carried flags of their parties besides placards with slogans.

Co-chair of Sadbhawana Party Laxman Lal Karna said the alliance would continue to picket outside Singha Durbar till their demands were met but it would take a formal decision to this effect tomorrow evening.

He said the government prevented dozens of  buses carrying United Democratic Madhesi Front cadres from Tarai districts from entering the capital today on various pretexts.

“The government is trying to weaken our protest by preventing our cadres and sympathisers from converging on Kathmandu,” he said and added that people from Madhes and hills were coming to the capital.

Alliance leaders said the police prevented buses carrying UDMF cadres and sympathisers in Dhading and Thankot from reaching Kathmandu on time.

Alliance leaders said they expected more participation from Janajatis of Kathmandu, particularly from the Newar community, as it was a capital-centric movement.

Karna said the alliance reviewed its protests in the evening and decided to increase participation of the protesters tomorrow. Karna said the alliance expressed satisfaction over the protests that remained peaceful.

According to Karna, the alliance would remain vigilant against any attempt by miscreants to infiltrate its protest and defame the movement.

Meanwhile, addressing a corner meeting today, Parliamentary Party leader of Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal Ashok Kumar Rai said their protest would continue till their demands were met.

He said Madhesis, indigenous nationalities, Muslims, Khas, Dalits, women and people from backward regions were prepared to fight for their rights no matter how long they had to do that.

Meanwhile, the Nepal Bar Association today issued a press release saying it monitored the protests and found no violation of human rights from any side.

The NBA said both sides the protesters and the security forces  maintained restraint but since the picketing outside Singha Durbar hindered people’s movement in the city, both sides needed to seek a negotiated settlement of constitutional issues.

Federal Alliance wants its 11-point demands addressed.

The demands include revision of provincial boundaries on the basis of identity, revision of citizenship provisions mentioned in the constitution and representation by population in the Upper House.