Mahato vows to struggle on

Kathmandu, January 2

Sadbhawana Party Chair Rajendra Mahato, who is undergoing treatment at Gurgaun-based Medanta Hospital in India, today said their struggle would continue until their rights were ensured in the new constitution.

He said his health was improving and as soon as he was fit, he would join the ongoing agitation against the provisions of the new constitution. His appeal was read out by party General Secretary Manish Kumar Suman at a press conference in the capital today. Mahato was injured in police action while leading a group of protesters, who were blockading the Biratnagar-Jogbani border entry point, a few days ago.

Mahato said the state was trying to brutally suppress the Madhes agitation. “Fifty five people were martyred during Madhes agitation and hundreds of people were injured. Hundreds of people are still in hospitals,” he added, “As the government stepped up its repression, we have

also stepped up our resolve to fight for our rights.”

The SP Chair said despite the government’s attempt to make the Madhesi forces give up, the Madhesi forces carried on their agitation for more than four months proving that they would not buckle under pressure.

Meanwhile, Mahato also made public his party’s protest programmes that would begin from January 3 to January 11, which includes prayer meeting, observance of an hour-long silence, use of black flags on cycles and motorbikes, candle light vigil for martyrs, popularisation of Madhesi demands and Madhes agitation through the media, collection of people’s signatures on the SP’s letter sent to other Madhesi lawmakers urging them to quit their party and join the Madhes agitation.

Mahato clarified that he announced these protest programmes to aid other protest programmes announced by the United Democratic Madhesi Front.

When asked why SP announced separate protest programmes, SP General Secretary Suman said it was natural for the four constituents of the UDMF to carry out their separate protest programmes. He said Terai Madhes Democratic Party had also organised a Sankalpa Divas (solemn vow day) recently. “This does not mean that there is any division in the UDMF. We are united and we will remain so,” he added.

Suman said the security personnel deliberately targeted party Chair Mahato at the Biratnagar-Jogbani border entry point that day.