THT 10 YEARS AGO: 46 hurt as cops, agitators clash

Rautahat, February 1, 2008

At least 46 persons, including security personnel, were hurt in clashes in Rautahat, Sarlahi, Mahottari, Bara, Dhanusha, Parsa and Siraha districts in the Tarai region today. Thirty-one persons were also arrested in course of the clashes, which ensued as cadres of the Sanyukta Madhesi Morcha tried to padlock District Administration Offices (DAOs) in the seven districts during the second phase of their agitation. Eighteen persons, including pedestrians, two women and cadres of political parties were hurt in Rautahat when police intervened as SMM cadres padlocked the Rautahat DAO. Members of the Nepal Sadbhavana Party Anil Singh, Mohammed Shamsher Alam, Kiran Thakur, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum district president Ganesh Yadav, Gaurishankar Yadav, Rameshwor Yadav, Ram Babu Yadav, Shreebhawan Patel, Rautahat district president of the Madhesi Youth Forum (MYF) Nandkishore Sah and journalist Bikas Agarwal were among those injured. SP Laxman Neupane said MYF (Rautahat) president Sah was arrested for pelting police with stones. The agitators have called an indefinite bandh in Gaur from tomorrow to protest the police action.

In Sarlahi, six persons were injured in clashes between SMM cadres and police. Central member of the NSP Ramnaresh Roy, president of the Sarlahi Students’ Front Ganesh Roy, MJF district treasurer Jagannath Singh were among the injured.

Pessimism in Tarai growing, finds survey

Kathmandu, February 1, 2008

If the findings of a national survey are anything to go by, all is not well with the public mood in Nepal, particularly in the southern plains.

A nationwide survey released today by Interdisciplinary Analysts (IDA) has revealed that the mood in Madhes is different from the general mood of the country and if the grievances of the Madhesis are not addressed soon, the pessimism prevalent in the region could spell disaster for the country.

“The mood in Madhes is different from the general mood of the country, the state should urgently address their issues, said Dr Sudhindra Sharma, who led the survey involving 3,010 respondents randomly picked from 30 districts on the basis of Probability Proportionateto Size.

The survey was conducted from  December 23, 2007 to January 12, 2008 and the study population comprised different caste and age groups, the IDA said. The sense of pessimism in Tarai is growing, Sharma said. According to the survey, 29 per cent have rated the government’s functioning as bad and 38 per cent termed the government’s performance good.

Only three per cent of the participants said the government’s performance is very good. A majority of the respondents have doubts on whether the CA polls are possible.