The EAST bandh controversy : Two groups say bandh over, one says it’s on

Dharan, October 6:

The longstanding alliance of the three main indigenous groups agitating for community rights in the eastern region of the country has hit a hurdle over the issue of whether to carry on with the bandh or withdraw it. Two of them — Federal Limbuwan Rajya Parishad and Khambuwan Rastriya Morcha — have expressed resentment at the Federal Democratic National Forum’s overruling of their decision to withdraw the bandh in the eastern


The Federal Limbuwan Rajya Parishad and Khambuwan Rastriya Morcha declared Wednesday, Thursday and Friday bandh-free days saying that the bandh had no meaning anymore as the polls had been put off.

However, claiming to be the umbrella organisation of indigenous organisations, the Federal Democratic National Forum declared that the bandh remained in force and that the decision of the Parishad and Morcha to withdraw the bandh had no sanction.

In a press release, Forum general secretary Kumar Lingden stated that the bandh in the eastern region will continue and that neither the Parishad nor the Morcha had the authority to withdraw the bandh. Enraged at the Forum’s stance, the Parishad and the Morcha have questioned the very locus standi of the Forum.

Issuing a press statement today, Morcha president BK Koyu declared that the Morcha had the right to call or withdraw its bandh as and when it felt necessary, adding that from now on there will be no truck with the Forum. “The Morcha condemns the stand of the Forum.

How dare it pose as an overriding authority? Who is it to dismiss other organisations as having no authority?” he asked. The Morcha statement also declared that, now on, it will have an alliance with the Parishad only. Chief of the Parishad’s organisation department, Ram Bhakta Tumyang, admitted that relations between the Parishad and the Forum had hit a roadblock. “We shall take a decision very soon on whether or not to have any relations with the Forum,” he said. Tumyang said that the Forum had overstepped its brief and was seeking to make the Parishad and the Morcha subservient to itself. He added that the Parishad will not toe the line drawn by the Forum.

Meanwhile, despite the bandh announcement of the Forum, main towns, including Dharan, Itahari, Urlabari, Damak and Birtamod, remained open. However, Pathari VDC in Morang was affected by the bandh.