Maoists' bandh in 5 hilly district

PHIDIM: An indefinite bandh called by the Unified CPN-Maoist threw the life out of gear in five hilly districts in the Eastern Region today.

The Maoists imposed the strike in Dhankuta, Tehrathum, Taplejung, Ilam and Panchthar with their five-point demand, including a thorough probe into the murder of its activist Lagamdhwoj Limbu in Taplejung district. They also asked that Limbu be declared a martyr.

Due to the bandh, vehicles remained off the road while shops, business houses, educational institutions and factories closed their shutters. The local highways wore a deserted look as all short and long route vehicles did not ply.

Some unidentified persons had killed Limbu - the Maoists' village secretary of Libang, Taplejung - in Phungling Bazaar some two months ago.

Providing Rs one million as compensation to the victim's family and immediate arrest and stringent action against those involved in the murder are other demands the Maoists have put forth. They also added their another cadre -- Laxmi Manem of Dhungesanghu of Taplejung -- in the list of martyr, who was also murdered earlier.

Issuing a press statement, Tanka Aangbuhang, secretary of the Maoists' Limbuwan State Committee, said that they were compelled to announce the strike as the agreement reached between the Taplejung district administration and the Maoists in connection to the murder went unimplemented.

The Maoists said the bandh would continue until their demands were fulfilled.

District Police Office Dhankuta said that the bandh organisers vandalised a truck this morning for defying their bandh call at Sarashwoti Chowk.

Meanwhile, shops in Birtamode, the business hub of Jhapa district, remained closed on the third day today due to a bandh called by All Nepal Shop Workers Organisation. They are in agitation with their 14 point demands, including fixation of a minimum wage for them.