Tarai bandh turns violent

DAMAK: At least 10 persons were injured when locals clashed with bandh enforcers in Gauradaha of Jhapa district on Saturday. The clash occured when agitatprs tried to forcefully shut a shop belonging to Tika Shrestha, former chairman, Gauradaha Chambers of Commerce and Industries.

“Ten YCL cadres, including Kumar Singh Tamang were injured in the clash,” Prashant, YCL chairman, Jhapa Area No 7, said. The locals had defied the bandh since the town was declared bandh-free last year.

The bandh called by UCPN-Maoist-affiliated Indigenous Nationalities and Regional Democratic Federation affected life in Sunsari, Jhapa and Morang districts.Businesses remained closed in Jhapa while the agitators set ablaze four vehicles and vandalised 15 others in Morang and Sunsari.

The activists set a van belonging to Kantipur Publications afire saying that the Kantipur did not publish their news. Baton-wielding cadres attacked the vehicle ferrying copies of the daily at Thapachowk in Belbari. Some 7000 copies of the paper were destroyed, Belbari Area Police Office said.

The agitators also vandalised a motorcycle used by Avenues Television reporters at Nemuwa in Morang. Other two motorbikes were set on fire in Sunsari’s Khanar and Itahari.

Seven vehicles were vandalised in Itahari, two in Khanar and three in Tarahara. At Duhabi, an ambulance faced the wrath of the protesters. Vehicles of rights organisations and diplomatic missions were also barred at places.

Meanwhile, Sunsari chapter of Federation of Nepali Journalists, Creative Media Forum and Avenues Television Itahari Bureau flayed the attack on vehicles used by news-gatherers. The INRDF called the bandh demanding that federal states be carved out before drafting the new constitution.