JTMM-V bandh cripples life in several east Tarai districts

Rajbiraj, July 1:

Life in Siraha, Saptari, Mahottari and Dhanusha remained crippled today as well on the last day of the three-day Madhes bandh of the Visfot Singh faction of the Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha, a splinter group of JTMM (Goit). Long and short route vehicles did not ply while educational institutions, industries, factories remained shut. However, shops in Rajbiraj, the headquarters of Sapatari district, were open. The bandh affected educational institutions, transportation, commercial centres, industries and agriculture also in Siraha.

No vehicle has plied on Mahendra Highway or sub-highways for the last seven days due to the ongoing bandhs. Frequent bandhs have sparked a shortage of fertilisers in local markets.

The farmers who faced drought last year are facing problems in paddy cultivation due to the shortage of fertiliser, a farmer of Sanhaitha-4 Satya Narayan Yadav said. “Farmers were forced to buy fertiliser at a high price from India’s Jayanagar, Laukaha and Ladaniya markets,” he said.

A businessman in Siraha’s Fulbariya VDC Bijay Yadav, who has taken 60 bigha of land on contract for mango cultivation, said he is bearing a loss of Rs 20,000 to 25,000 daily as the mangoes are rotting for want of transportation due to the bandh.

Products like milk, curd, cottage cheese and ghee worth Rs 10,000 could not be sold from the Siraha-based dairy centre due to the bandh. Proprietor of the centre Ram Chandra Yadav said collection of the daily 2,000 litres of milk was not possible due to the bandh.

People in Siraha are facing one bandh after another. Immediately after the CPN (Maoist) withdrew its bandh, the JTMM-V staged a bandh crippling life there.

Although the bandh was effective in Sarlahi’s commercial hubs Barahathwa and Ishworpur VDCs, the bazaars in Ranigunj, Lalbandi, Nawalpur, Hariwan, Naya Road and Karmaiya were open. Long route transport on the East-West Highway in Sarlahi saw a complete halt of traffic while microbuses and tempos were plying on the roads in Karmaiya and Ranigunj.

Except for motorbikes, no other vehicle was seen on sub-highways linking the district headquarters Malangwa with the East-West Highway.