Life in the Tarai continues to be affected due to the general strikes called by the Joint Tharuhat Struggle Committee and United Democratic Madhesi Front to protest the preliminary draft of the constitution and the delineation of federal states.
In Rupandehi, the local administration in Bhairahawa declared a five-day prohibitory zone today, a day after UDMF cadres clashed with anti-bandh supporters.
The authorities issued the prohibitory order, after finding that a youth who had gone missing in a stampede after the clash had died. According to a police source, 18-year-old Sunil Yadav of Lumbini municipality-10, who went missing in the clash, was found drowned in the local Danda Khola yesterday evening.
“Though a harmony rally was due today, we had to declare the prohibitory order to prevent escalation of violence,” said CDO Bishnu Prasad Dhakal of Rupandehi, adding that the order will be in effect in the area between Basantapur Bypass road and Gautam Buddha Airport, and Anchalpur Electricity Authority Office and Belahiya Bypass road till Wednesday.
Today evening, a meeting between the administration and the UDMF agreed to make the agitation peaceful.
“Though late, we have reached agreement according to which the administration will provide compensation to the family of the youth who died while trying to flee the clash site yesterday. UDMF has pledged to agitate peacefully. An agreement has also been reached to maintain details of the damage and to bear the cost for treatment of the injured,” said SP Rajendra Dhakal of Rupandehi.
In Kailali authorities clamped a curfew from 6:00pm today to 8:00am tomorrow in Tikapur area.
Earlier, a prohibitory order was put in place in view of a possible clash between supporters of the intact far-west campaign and Tharuhat cadres, a day after a clash between them in Durgauli and Tikapur yesterday. The order was in force for 11 hours up to 5:00pm today in areas east of Karnali River, Manuwa VDC in the west, Dhansinghpur VDC in the south and Patharaiya VDC in the north. Prior to this, the administration has clamped a nine-hour curfew till 6:00am today.
Meanwhile, UDMF cadres in Saptari torched two cargo trucks and vandalised a bus on the Bhardaha-Portaha road section for defying the bandh today. Fourteen passengers were injured when the driver lost control of the bus that was heading to Biratnagar of Morang when bandh enforcers started pelting stones.
Five of the injured are being treated at the Rajbiraj-based Gajendra Narayan Singh Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital. “The rest were treated at local clinics,” said the DSP.
Elsewhere in Rautahat, front cadres prevented vehicular movement on the Gaur-Chandranigahapur road section from early morning today, by burning tyres on the road.
Similarly, UDMF cadres also burnt the effigies of Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Home Minister Bamdev Gautam protesting the decision to annex Parsa’s Thori in Province 3. Districts such as Siraha, Dhanusha, Sarlahi, Bara and Parsa also were affected.