Itahari, March 31:

CPN-UML standing committee member Ashok Rai today said a New Nepal would be established with the arrival of 2063 BS.

Addressing a eastern regional public gathering of the agitating seven political parties in Itahari, Rai said the alliance would go ahead with the April 6-9 strike at any cost despite the government’s efforts to foil it. “We will hold demonstrations even if the government imposed curfew,” Rai said, adding, “The understanding reached with Maoists is not for violence and killing but for freedom and democracy.” However, he warned the Maoists not to make the understanding a shield for their mistakes.

Addressing the gathering that followed a rally, NC central member Mahesh Acharya said, “The movement will lay foundation for many changes in the country.” He said the movement would be free from violent activities. He said the party activists would court arrest in large numbers if curfew was imposed to suppress the demonstrations.

Acharya claimed the understanding reached with the Maoists would help bring to peaceful politics.

Kamal Choudhary of the Jana Morcha Nepal, Sunil Prajapati of the Nepal Workers’ and Peasants’ Party and Prabhu Narayan Choudhary of the United Left Front also addressed the gathering. They claimed that the April 6-9 strike would be peaceful.

The leaders accused the local administration of trying to disrupt the gathering in the name of security checks.

Firing in Itahari

Itahari: Security forces had to resort to firing at BP chowk in Itahari on Friday while the seven-party alliance was staging a programme on the premises of a school 200 metres from the chowk, locals said. Security forces opened fire after seeing two persons armed with pistols, locals added. Following the incident, terrified shopkeepers downed shutters. However, the police in Itahari denied that the security men had opened fire. The Eastern Division Headquarters of the RNA also did not confirm the incident. — HNS