JTMM-V’s bandh throws life out of gear in Tarai

Siraha, June 30:

Life was affected in some Tarai districts, including Siraha, Sarlahi, Dhanusha and Mahottari, today as well, as the bandh called by the JTMM-Visfot Singh group (JTMM-V) entered the second day. Educational institutions, transport services, trade and industry sectors remained shut in these districts.

Hundreds of students of the Siraha-based Surya Narayan Yadav Satya Narayan Yadav Marbaita Multiple Campus were affected due to frequent bandhs, chairperson of the Udayapur Contact Committee (Siraha) Binod Niraula said. The bandh partially affected life in Saptari, Dhanusha and Mahottari.

Meanwhile, a bandh simultaneously called by the Nepal Janajati Adibasi Federation-affiliated students’ organisation partially affected life in Jhapa and Morang.

The Damak area police office arrested Ashok Kumar Chenjong of Urlabari and Sushil Rai of Damak on the charge of indulging in undesirable activities during the bandh.

Markets were closed in Damak, while vehicular movement also came to a halt. However, the impact of the bandh was partial in Birtamod and Bhadrapur of Jhapa district.

Another bandh called by various organisations, including truck entrepreneurs, affected life in Sarlahi. No vehicle plied in Malangwa, Barathawa and Ishworpur. However, markets in Lalbandhi, Nawalpur, Hariwan, Nayaroad and Karmaiya were open. The Staffers’ Struggle Committee called off its bandh in Malangwa this afternoon, but the bazaar did not open.

The committee had been staging an agitation, demanding action against those guilty of killing a firefighter, Arun Kumar Jaiswal.

Meanwhile, a report from Itahari said transport services in the eastern region were halted today after bus entrepreneurs expressed their solidarity with the ongoing Mechi-Koshi bandh called by the truck and supply entrepreneurs. Bus entrepreneurs plied their buses as per the circular of Nepal National Transport Federation yesterday. However, they did not ply their buses after the truck entrepreneurs urged them not to do so today.

Vehicles on long and short routes did not ply in the east. The agitators staged demonstrations in major towns of the eastern region. The bandh affected life in Itahari, Dharan, Biratnagar, Damak, Birtamod and Kakarvitta. People were forced to walk and ride bicycles as the

vehicle were off the road. Even the movement of rickshaws was restricted along the Urlabari, Pathari and Balbari road sections of the Mahendra Highway.

Due to the shutdown, food supplies were disrupted and the region faced shortage of petroleum products.

“Though there is sufficient stock of petroleum products at the Biratnagar-based regional office of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), the bandh disrupted the regular supply,” Arjun Singh, NOC Biratnagar regional chief, said.

In Udayapur, vehicles from Gaighat did not ply on long as well as short routes.

Transport talks today:

ITAHARI: The government on Saturday called the agitating transporters to come for talks on Sunday.

“Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula, who

is currently in the eastern region, called us for talks,” general secretary of the Truck, Tractor

and Supply Entrepreneurs’ Federation Shree Chandra Sharma said. Talking over phone, Sharma said that an agreement has been reached to hold the first round of talks with Home Secretary at the Home Ministry on Sunday.

The agitation, however, will continue, Sharma said. “The Home Minister has taken our demands positively,” Sharma said, adding, “If tomorrow’s talks are inconclusive, we will hold the second phase of talks once Sitaula returns to the capital.”

“The Home Minister queried about our demands on Saturday and promised to meet them,” Sharma said. — HNS