UDMF agitation turns violent

Birgunj/Rautahat, November 20

Within hours of the United Democratic Madhesi Front decision to allow operation of schools and the passage of medicines, the front’s protracted agitation took a violent turn last night.

UDMF cadres vandalised an ambulance carrying a sick child at Katahari of Morang, while the agitators set ablaze a truck laden with vital drugs in Birgunj. The protesters also hurled stones at the house of former prime minister and senior CPN-UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal at Rautahat headquarters Gaur.

UDMF cadres vandalised a truck loaded with life-saving drugs, sprinkled petrol on it and set it on fire on Thursday night. District Police Office Parsa said UDMF cadres vandalised and set the truck loaded with drugs on fire in Birgunj’s Om Ashram.

The truck, escorted by police, was to deliver drugs to Nabin Medical Hall in Janakpur this morning. Police said drugs worth Rs 2 million were destroyed in the incident.

UDMF cadres also attacked an ambulance carrying a sick girl while it was on its way to Biratnagar from Rangeli today. Victim’s family said agitators hurled stones at the vehicle in Katahari for defying the bandh.The child’s mother, who was inside the ambulance, has sustained minor injuries. She is undergoing treatment, along with her daughter, at Koshi Zonal Hospital, Biratnagar.

Police said around 10 cadres had vandalised the ambulance operated by Rangeli Cooperative and Credit Cooperative.

UDMF activists also vandalised more than half a dozen vehicles owned by National Cement factory at Katahari this morning in Morang. They had also vandalised motorbikes and vans parked on the factory premises.

Police arrested four UDMF cadres while they were enforcing the closure of shops on Biratnagar’s Mainroad. DSP Pramod Kharel at District Police Office Morang said efforts were under way to identify the people involved in ambulance vandalism.

Protesters also hurled stones at the house of senior UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal in Gaur this afternoon, resulting in shattered windowpanes. After the UDMF leadership placated the agitators, further damage was averted.

An eyewitness said Nepal Police and APF personnel guarding the house were reduced to mere spectators when the protesters threw stones.

UDMF cadres vandalised at least 25 motorbikes for defying bandh in Rautahat today. UDMF leader Anil Singh said they had blocked the movement of two-wheelers to curb petrol smuggling.

Agitating UDMF cadres also broke the windowpanes of Nepal Investment Bank and vandalised a mini-truck and more than a dozen motorbikes parked in Birgunj’s Aadarsh Nagar.

They also blocked the movement of two-wheelers in Birgunj today.


UML concerned

KATHMANDU: Ruling CPN-UML on Friday expressed serious concern about the attack on its senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal’s house in Rautahat.

Issuing a press statement here, UML has stated that the party would soon warn the concerned agitating parties to control such unruly activities.

“Vandalising houses of political leaders won’t resolve the crisis, but will escalate the situation,” states the release.

The party has also urged the agitating parties to find an amicable solution through dialogue.