Tharus plan to pursue carrot and stick policy

Kathmandu/Rautahat, March 9:

The Tharuhat Joint Struggle Committee (TJSC) and other indigenous groups today

decided to further intensify the movement and sit for talks with the government simultaneously.

“Since the government is conspiring to split the agitating parties, we have decided to sit for talks though none of our demands has been met yet. We may probably sit for talks with the government tomorrow,” said Laxman Tharu, one of the members of TJSC.

He also said the TJSC and all other indigenous groups had decided to organise Valley bandh on March 15.

Kishor Kumar Biswas, one of the leaders of the ongoing movement in the Tarai, claimed that the four ministers — Upendra Yadav, Jaya Prakash Gupta, Rajendra Mahato and Bijaya Gachhadar — were conspiring against the indigenous nationalities.

“We will continue our agitation,” he said, claiming that the movement would take a new height very soon. Earlier today the TJSC, along with various groups of indigenous nationalities, organised a condolence and protest rally

in Kathmandu.

Meanwhile, a number of indigenous groups today claimed that the ongoing movement in different parts of Tarai was not only organised by the Tharu community as portrayed by the media.

Issuing a press statement here today, around two dozens organisations of indigenous nationalities expressed serious concern about the portrayal of Tharu’s movement by the media and the government.

“We condemn the government decision to enlist the 92 indigenous groups as Madhesis,” the release stated.

According to the release, the cabinet decision of February 3 has enlisted 92 indigenous groups as Madhesis.

They have clarified that the ongoing movement was not only the fight for the independent identity and existence of Tharu community but also of all other indigenous nationalities. “Though all the indigenous nationalities were involved in the movement the government had tried to divide them by publicising it as the movement of the Tharus only,” the release stated.

Meanwhile, the Tharu community further intensified the indefinite Tarai bandh for the eighth day today, after its first round of talks with the government failed today.

In Rautahat, the agitators vandalised a dozen of vans at Rangapur VDC last night. District headquarters Gaur and other rural areas have been facing a shortage of daily commodities and petroleum products. However, the life returned to normalcy in Siraha district after the district unit of Joint Tharuhat Struggle Committee withdrew the bandh for three days on the occasion of Holi.

People in Saptari had no respite from the bandh. Bazaars and transport service were affected in Chitwan district. Maoist cadres also supported the agitators in Chitwan.

In Dang, the annual examination of Grade VIII scheduled to begin from March 12 have been put off due to the bandh.

In Bara, the agitators vandalised an ambulance at Jaitapur yesterday. The agitators vandalised some shops in Dhangadhi.