Highway thru Siraha under curfew

Siraha, September 8:

The Siraha district administration office today clamped curfew in Siraha section of the East-West Highway and surrounding areas to avoid any untoward incident between the MJF and Maoist cadres.

According to CDO Bal Krishna Panthi, the curfew would be effective from Balan Khola in the east to Bandipur in the west. The curfew would be effective from 8 pm tonight to 6 am tomorrow.

The administration feared clashes between the two sides on the backdrop of the indefinite transport strike called by the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) since Thursday to protest the seizure of land and houses of commoners by the Maoists.

The Maoists had seized 11 bighas of land belonging to 75 persons in Ramnagar Mirchaiya-3 on July 15 and distributed it to poor Dalits.

No vehicles have been plying on the Siraha section of the highway. The situation became tense after an all-party meeting held in Ramnagar Mirchaiya today ended inclusively and the two sides traded words against each other. The talks failed after Maoist CA member from Siraha-5 Mahendra Paswan boycotted the meeting.

Maoist CA members Paswan and Jagat Yadav had seized the land and a house claiming that the property belonged to late king Gyanendra’s kin Mohan Shahi.

A landowner, Birendra Shah, whose land was seized by the Maoists said the dialogue failed after Paswan left the meeting, citing his presence in the talks.