Tharus’ agitation enters 11th day

ITAHARI:At least 17 persons — 15 agitators and two policemen — were injured when Tharuhat Joint Struggle Committee activists clashed with police in Sunsari on the 11th day of their indefinite Tarai bandh on Saturday.

The clash occurred as the police charged batons after the agitating Tharus demonstrated defying the prohibitory order issued by local administration in Jhumka.

The irate agitators pelted stones at the police. In retaliation, the police fired nine shells of tear gas. As the demonstrators resisted the gas, the police made seven blank fires, Sunsari District Police Office said

Police also held six agitators. Jhumka area remained tense following the clash. While traffic was halted in Duhabi, markets remained open in Itahari, Inaruwa and Tarahara in defiance.

In Rautahat, the agitators torched four vehicles — two trucks, a jeep and an Indian van — at Chandi Bridge near Chandranigahapur today. Students taking the Grade XII final examination were affected as the vehicles stayed off the roads.

In Dang, bandh enforcers set two vehicles — an Indian vehicle and a TATA Sumo — afire in Gobardiha VDC on the East-West highway last night. While, the police escorted vehicles stranded in Bhaluwang to their destinations today.

“The schools which were forced to close will reopen on Monday following an agreement between PABSON and TJSC today,” Keshav Thapa, Dang chairman of the private schools said.

Civil society members and human rights activists have urged TJSC to withdraw its bandh.