Protests continue in Doti, Dhankuta and Dang

Dhangadhi/Dhankuta, January 19

The agitation that started expressing dissatisfaction with the government’s decision to fix the temporary provincial headquarters, continued in Doti’s Dipayal, Dhankuta and Dang today as well.

Agitators clashed with security personnel in Doti’s Silgadhi. Over three dozens of agitators including police personnel were injured when the protesters clashed with police personnel. Doti locals are agitating against the government decision to fix Kailali’s Dhangadhi as the provincial capital of Province 7.

A deserted look of Dhankuta bazaar after the local administration imposed a prohibitory order; locals staging a rally, in Dang, on Friday, January 19, 2018. Photo: THT
A deserted look of Dhankuta bazaar after the local administration imposed a prohibitory order; locals staging a rally, in Dang, on Friday, January 19, 2018. Photo: THT

The clash had erupted after agitators pelted stones at the security personnel from the corner meet organised in front of DAO Doti. Police had charged batons and opened dozens of tear gas shells.

Agitators claimed that two dozen demonstrators including CPN-UML Doti chair Chakra Malla were injured in the incident. They accused the police personnel of firing tear gas shells in the peaceful demonstration. They alleged that police personnel had charged batons indiscriminately to all and sundry.

Doti police Chief SP Madhusudan Luitel, however, refuted the allegation and said that police had to charge batons and fire tear gas shells for their self defence after the agitators pelted stones at them. SP Luitel said situation was brought under control after long and hard efforts.

Doti remained shut for the third consecutive day today demanding that Dipayal be made the provincial capital. Market places and educational institutions pulled down their shutters. Buses stayed off the road while government offices, industries and factories remained closed.

Agitation Coordination Committee Coordinator Narendra Khadka said their agitation would not come to an end unless the government corrects its decision.

Similarly, after the government fixed Biratnagar as temporary capital of Province 1, agitation has become stern in Dhankuta. The agitation with demand to make Dhankuta the provincial capital for the past 34 days has hit normal life very hard.

A meeting held between the local administration and Provincial Capital Struggle Committee today ended inconclusively. After the talk, Struggle Committee Coordinator Sundarbabu Shrestha said general strike would continue in Dhankuta. He informed that they would announce other programmes of agitation.

District Administration Office Dhankuta lifted prohibitory order from 5:00pm today. The DAO had imposed the order from Thursday saying that the agitation had turned violent. Due to the prohibitory order, commuter and heavy trucks plying along the Koshi highway had been stuck midway. With the lifting of the order, vehicular movement has resumed on the highway.

Protests continued  in Dang also. The strike called with demand to make Dang provincial headquarters has hit the normal life very hard. The government offices remained closed. Some offices were shut down forcefully by the agitators while some were closed by employees. Buses stayed off the road while schools, business organisations, factories and market places pulled down their shutters. The government has fixed Rupandehi as provincial headquarters of Province 6. Struggle Committee Dang Secretary and CPN-Maoist Centre Dang District joint in-charge Nirmal Acharya said their agitation would continue unless Dang was fixed as provincial capital of the Province 6.