Three killed in protest against six-province model in Surkhet

SURKHET, August 10

Three agitators, who were part of a demonstration demanding to keep mid-west region intact, were killed when the police opened fire to control the mob in Birendranagar, Surkhet, on Monday.

Tikaram Gautam from Bhairabsthan, Birendranagar Municipality, and Yam Bahadur BC of Itram, Birendranagar, succumbed to bullet injuries, while Gopal Singh Rajuwar from Tallo Bazaar, Birendranagar, died in the stampede following the firing.

Clashes between the protesters and police personnel left 33 persons injured, including Bulbule FM Surkhet journalist Isingh Rokaya Magar. Surkhet District Police stated that 22 agitators and 10 police personnel were among those injured. Rokaya, who got shot in his leg, is undergoing treatment at Mid-Western Regional Hospital. Others are being treated at local health centres and nursing homes.

Police had to open dozens of rounds of fire as the agitators hit the streets defying curfew

The Joint Civil Struggle Committee had initiated the agitation demanding to keep the mid-west region intact. The agitators vandalised the offices of the Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML, the UCPN-Maoist, DAO, Land Revenue, DFO, District Health Office and Jhupra Comprehensive Drinking Corporation and the house of former home minister and NC Joint General Secretary Purna Bahadur Khadka.

After the situation took an ugly turn, DAO clamped curfew from 1:00pm to 9:00pm. Police had to open dozens of rounds of fire after the agitators hit the streets defying the curfew. The agitators set the government vehicle used by Superintendent of Police Rajesh Kumar Lalkarna on fire. They also set ablaze one van, JCB machine and a tipper of Birendranagar Municipality.

Joint Civil Struggle Committee Coordinator Tej Bikram Basnet said the splitting of Bheri and Karnali was unacceptable to them and the mid-west region should be kept intact.

Elsewhere, a clash broke out between agitators and police personnel at Jumla headquarters Khalanga after the police tried to disperse protesters demanding to keep the Karnali region intact. The protesters vandalised two vehicles belonging to Jumla DAO and District Police Office.

Jumla Agitation Struggle Committee Coordinator Laxman Shahi warned that they would continue their agitation unless intact Karnali was guaranteed.

Normal life was also disrupted in Salyan due to the bandh called by the locals, who want to keep Salyan in Rapti zone.

Rukum district also stayed shut due to bandh called to protest the six-province model in which the district  has been split. The agitators shouted slogans in front of the houses of CA members Janardan Sharma and Mithu Malla at Khalanga Serigaun.

At the initiative of Rukum chapter of FNCCI, locals of Rukum submitted a memorandum to the prime minister through DAO demanding to keep the district intact.