THT 10 YEARS AGO: Govt wakes up to Tarai turmoil

Kathmandu, November 20, 2007

The government today expressed concern about the state of affairs in Tarai and has appealed to all the political parties to mobilise themselves to help restore law and order amid growing instances of lawlessness and violence perpetrated by different underground outfits.

However, the cabinet, which discussed the issue during a meeting today, did not come up with any definitive word on how the political parties should mobilise themselves to help government and local administration in improving the worsening law and order.

The decision of the government to mobilise the political parties follows growing instances of the civil servants stationed in tarai districts and secretaries of the Village Development Committees resigning en masse fearing loss of life. Only yesterday 96 VDC secretaries of Rautahat district and 91 VDC secretaries of Bara district resigned en masse.

The organisation of the civil servants has been complaining against the growing instances of underground organisations involved in extortion and kidnappings.

There have been reports of even schools coming under pressure to shut down following unchanged extortion spree and intimidation. “The government is concerned and appeals to the political parties to mobilise their followers and help the local administration.

Nepalis held over convoy shooting in Iraq

Associated Press

Baghdad, November 20, 2007

Iraqi troops detained nine Nepalis travelling in a convoy run by a US-contracted firm after an Iraqi woman was wounded in a shooting involving their vehicles in Baghdad.

The Iraqi military accused them of travelling on the wrong side of the road, firing randomly, and trying to kill a female citizen.

According to US officials, the convoy belonged to Almco, an international company based in Dubai, which has contracts with US-led forces to provide food, water and other life support functions to military transition teams, as well as the construction of a justice compound.

A US military officer said coalition forces were dispatched to stay with the detained to ensure they receive proper treatment. Besides the Nepalis, two Fijian guards, along with 21 people from Sri Lanka, 10 Iraqis and one Indian, were being held at an Iraqi army headquarters.

Brig Gen Qassim al-Moussawi, the chief Iraqi military spokesman in Baghdad, said the convoy was driving on the wrong side of the road in the central Baghdad neighbourhood of Karradah when the woman was wounded in a shooting that took place about midday. “They tried to escape the scene, but Iraq forces arrested them,” al-Moussawi said.

He said four vehicles were seized including “an armored Ford, an armoured Mercedes, an armored Landcruiser and a Scania truck” along with four PKC machine guns, eight Kalashnikov rifles and three pistols.