Maoists impose indefinite Kailali bandh

DHANGADHI: Protesting the Dudhejhari incident, the UCPN-Maoist has announced an indefinite bandh in Kailali district beginning today.

On the first day of their general shutdown, local marketplaces, including Tikapur, Dhangadhi, remained shut while transportation came to a grinding halt.

The former rebels have been on agitation ever since the Dudhejhari incident two weeks ago when three Maoists and a policeman had died in the clashes that ensued after the Maoist-aligned squatters encroached the forest land and police tried to evict them.

The Maoists have been demanding for martyr status to their deceased comrades, proper compensation to their families and settlement of the squatters.

Local authorities have been maintaining that the Maoists’ demands could not be fulfilled by them but higher authorities.

“Since the government remained apathetic towards the demands of the squatters, we eventually called for the district bandh,” said Hari Gyawali ‘Akhanda’, Kailali district in-charge of the Maoist. As per the shutdown plan, according to him, they would also close all the government offices from tomorrow.

Due to the strike, passengers have been left stranded after all the vehicles of short and long route chose to stay off the road. When contacted, Chief District Officer Hari Krishna Poudel said attempts were on through dialogues to withdraw the Maoists’ bandh plan.