Rajbiraj, November 23
Tension remained high in Saptari today after cadres of United Democratic Madhesi Front continued violent activities here today. Three agitators have lost their lives in the district in police firing since Saturday night.
The agitators defied curfew imposed by the administration, staged demonstrations and torched a police post at Koiladi Barasain early this morning.
They also set ablaze Rajbiraj-based District Land Conservation Office and Kunauli-based Customs Office in the afternoon.
Though the police took control of the fire at the customs office immediately, the fire at the land conservation office destroyed all documents and furniture. In the evening, they also torched the party office of Nepali Congress and Land Survey branch office in the district headquarters Rajbiraj.
The agitators also hurled a petrol bomb on a public vehicle escorted by the police in Bhardaha and torched a motorbike used by the mobile police team here. In Rajbiraj, the agitators smashed the windows of the Gajendrachowk-based Rastriya Banijya Bank branch office by hurling stones.
The agitators burnt tyres at a number of places and engaged in clashes with police repeatedly in the district headquarters throughout the day. Police fired some 25 tear gas shells and four rounds in the air, leaving up to 15 agitators injured.
According to Saptari Journalist Federation vice-chairperson Shrawan Kumar Dev, police vandalised Rajbiraj-based Neha Offset Press and a two-wheeler belonging to journalist Shubha Narayan Yadav.
Agitators clashed with police in Siraha and Lahan also. The clash took place in front of the area police office of Lahan where Krishna Bahadur Yadav, coordinator of the agitation launched by the front, was injured as the police resorted to baton charge. Police also fired one round in the air during the clash.
Meanwhile, a joint meeting of the UDMF town and district committees in Rajbiraj today decided to intensify the agitation. The meeting also sought martyr status for the three agitators killed in police firing and another who was electrocuted while trying to escape.
It also sought free treatment for the injured and stern action against the cops who resorted to firing.
The meeting condemned police excesses and their act of barging into the locals’ houses and asked the administration to stop such acts immediately.
A version of this article appears in print on November 24, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.