Locals continue protest for fourth day

Dhangadi/Dang, January 20

The agitation sparked by the government decision  to fix the temporary provincial headquarters  has entered its fourth day in Doti, Dang, Dhankuta and Parsa. The strike has  affected normal life badly in these districts.

In Doti, life has come to standstill for four days now with the district headquarters bearing the brunt, where government offices, business establishments, marketplaces and educational institutions have been shut. As the demonstrators put up a chakkajam at Budar and Gaira on the Bhimdatta highway today too, vehicles bound for Dadeldhura, Baitadi, Bajhang, and Darchula got stuck.

In Dhankuta, the double whammy of prohibitory order and general strike has affected life. Earlier, following the inconclusive talks, both the local administration and the struggle committee lobbying for making Dhankuta the provincial headquarters had decided to continue with the prohibitory order and the general strike respectively. While marketplaces, financial institutions and transportation remained shut, black flags have been installed at every houses as a show of protest.

Agitation has also gripped Dang, where the agitators have been carrying out highway-centric protest. While transportation, marketplaces and businesses remained shut today as well, women carrying empty plates protested at Dang’s Tulasipur. “As the government has done injustice by not declaring Dang as the provincial headquarters, and we won’t rest until the faulty government decision to grant Butwal as provincial headquarters is retracted,” said women activist Susma Giri, vowing to intensify the protest in the days ahead.

Campaigners seeking Birgunj as the headquarters for Province-2 today decided to boycott leaders who don’t cooperate in the campaign. A meeting of the agitating struggle committee took a decision towards this effect, accusing the government of doing injustice to Birgunj by deciding on Janakpur as the provisional provincial headquarters. The meeting also decided to spread the campaign to the village level in order to exert pressure on the government.

Earlier, the government, through its Wednesday’s ministerial meeting had declared Biratnagar, Janakpur,  Butwal and Dhangadi, among others, as the provisional headquarters for Province-1, 2, 5 and 7 respectively.