Birgunj, February 4
With the sit-in of the United Democratic Madhesi Front drawing very few people for some days now, giving continuity to the agitation on Miteri Bridge on the Nepal-India border in Birgunj has become a challenge with frequent clashes between agitators and desperate importers being reported.
Yesterday too, one such clash was reported here.
Agitators have been staging sit-in at the Birgunj entry point since September 24, blocking all export and import of goods and commodities via the entry point, protesting the issue of state delineation in the new constitution.
So far there have been five clashes between importers and agitators here.
The latest clash yesterday night occurred when importers had tried to bring in their consignments from across the border by removing the blockade put up by the agitators.
Around 50 persons had attacked the agitators at the sit-in site and vandalised and removed the blockade.
The attack occurred when there were just over a dozen agitators at the sit-in site at about 8:00pm.
After the blockade was removed, five buses that were stranded on Nepali territory had crossed the border, while a truck carrying a heavy machine, a few light vehicles and carts full of goods had entered Nepal.
“As there is dismal participation at the sit-in these days, the attacks are happening almost every day,” said Ramatulla Khan of Tarai Madhes Democratic Party, who was found at the sit-in site today.
In recent days, after Raxaul Customs started giving clearance to consignments for Nepal, the suppliers have started bringing their goods in carts and other means of transport.
Birgunj Customs spokesperson Sushil Sharma confirmed the increased flow of goods into the country through the entry point.
“As people are bringing their goods in carts and other light vehicles that the agitators don’t stop, it has pushed revenue collection up of late,” he said, adding that the office has been collecting around six million rupees in revenue daily these days.
Meanwhile, no consignment of petroleum products has entered via the entry point that otherwise comprises around 70 per cent of the total import of petroleum from India.
A version of this article appears in print on February 05, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.