UDMF decides to end blockade, tells Mahato to correct himself

KATHMANDU: Three days after the obstruction at the Birgunj-Raxaul Nepal-India border point was removed, the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front on Monday formally decided to end the blockade.

Top leaders of the UDMF constituents held a meeting in Kathmandu today and decided to withhold the four-and-half-month border blockade, general shutdown and obstructions at government offices for the time being, citing "contemporary problems of the nation, needs of people and their suggestions."

The UDMF, however, was under immense pressure to end the blockade not only from members of the public, but also from their own leaders and cadres.

Nevertheless, the agitating alliance has decided to continue other forms of protest besides the blockade and shutdown.

It has also decided to join hands with other parties and alliances to intensify the protests.

"The agitation will continue till our demands are addressed," reads a statement issued after the meeting.

The UDMF for now has announced only three protest programmes including a torch rally, a lathi rally and a people's vote collection campaign in district headquarters.

Directive to Mahato

Meanwhile, the UDMF concluded that some latest statements and activities of Sadbhawana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato "greatly harmed" the agitation and directed him not to do so in the future.

While chairpersons of Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal, Tarai Madhes Democratic Party and Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party - Upendra Yadav, Mahantha Thakur and Mahendra Raya Yadav respectively - have signed the statement, no one from Mahato's Sadbhawana Party has signed the decision.