Siraha offices shut down

Siraha, November 19:

Accusing the government of not heeding their demand for security guarantee, civil servants and teachers in Siraha district have decided to brought work in all government and non-government offices and educational institutions throughout the district to a halt for the next 12 days.

The Civil Servants’ and Teachers’ Joint Struggle Committee announced the strike today after its talks with chief district officer Bal Krishna Panthi ended on an inconclusive note yesterday. It has, however, kept hospital emergency services, VDC-level OPD services and power supply out of the bandh purview.

The DAO was open today, but little work was done as officials and employees there also expressed solidarity with the committee’s demands.

The committee has put forward a six-point charter of demands that includes security guarantee, declaration of slain employees, teachers and VDC secretary Ram Hari Pokhrel, nayab subba Prabhu Narayan Yadav and teacher Arun Kumar Shrestha as martyrs, refunding ransom paid by the abducted and subsequently released employees, compensation for families of the slain workers and teachers, job for one of the dependents of those killed, stern action against the kidnappers and the killers and early talks with armed extremist groups active in the Tarai.

The MJF and other agitating organisations in the Tarai expressed solidarity with the strike.

Meanwhile, the DAO has set up security cordons in two municipalities — Siraha and Lahan — to counter the increasing incidents of robbery, abduction and murder.

CDO Bal Krishna Panthi said the security cordons were set up today following a directive from the Home Ministry. He said that the security measures will be enforced strictly and added that there are eight check posts in Siraha municipality and six in Lahan municipality. CDO Panthi said that civilians, private and public vehicles coming from outside will be allowed inside the municipality areas only after a thorough check and verification of bona fides.