The Adivasi Janajati Rastriya Andolan (AJRA) is preparing to resume its single identity-based protest with a ‘special focus’ outside the valley from next week. Ajra, a loose coalition of Janajati leaders, intellectuals and right activists led by Padma Ratna Tuladhar, had demonstrated outside the Constituent Assembly (CA) ahead of January 22 in the first round of protest.
Ajra leaders said the new round of protest will also incorporate other excluded and marginalised communities, including Khas, Muslim and Dalits.
“We have felt that common people have grossly misunderstood our agendas. That’s why the next phase of our protest will focus on raising awareness about identity at the grassroots,” said Om Gurung, Ajra spokesperson.
The Ajra leaders have been campaigning in favour of single identity-based federalism with at least ten states. They said that there could be some flexibility in number of states based on consensus.
He said the central coordination committee will soon make the new schedule of protest public later this week.
Tuladhar said that talks with other groups, including Khas party, are underway. Khas party is protesting for Khasan region. He said that some technical issues remain to be settled to launch a protest under one banner.
Tuladhar is reportedly under pressure to incorporate other disgruntled communities supporting identity after failing to garner enough public support in Kathmandu-based protest last month.
The Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (Nefin) has refused to extend support to single identity and directed ethnic organisation to boycott the Tuladhar-led protest.