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Medicines from India destroyed in Madhesi violence in Nepal

Kathmandu: Indian-origin Madhesi protesters in Nepal on Friday torched an ambulance and a truck carrying medicines worth over Rs two million imported from India near the border as sporadic violence returned to the Himalayan nation amid a political logjam over the new Constititution.

The truck with medicines was torched by the cadres of the agitating Joint Democratic Madhesi Front (JDMF) close to the Indian border town of Raxaul, despite an assurance by the protesters that they would allow vehicles to move into Nepal.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Nepal is facing a huge shortage of medicines and other essential goods due to a two-month-long agitation by the Madhesis in the Terai region, the police said.

The agitators hurled a petrol bomb on the vehicle in the Birgunj Municipality area of Parsa district last night as the vehicle headed towards Janakpur, a southern Nepal town, the police said.

The fire that erupted in the truck destroyed the medicines imported from India worth more than Rs two million.

On Thursday, the JDMF had issued a statement that they would allow movement of medicine-laden vehicles and would let the schools in southern Nepal function normally.

Meanwhile, the cadres of the agitating Madhesi Front also set an ambulance on fire, in Morang in eastern Nepal.

The vehicle was ferrying a sick child to a local hospital in district headquarters Biratnagar.

The child sustained injuries but is now safe, police said.

Police have arrested eight members of the agitating Madhesi parties for their alleged involvement in the incident.

Nepal has been hit by a major political crisis over the new Constitution opposed by Indian-origin Madhesis who have led an agitation and blockaded at key border trade points of Nepal with India, leading to a shortage of essential goods including fuel and cooking gas.

Madhesis, Indian-origin inhabitants of Nepal’s Terai region, are protesting against division of their ancestral homeland into seven provices in the new Constitution.

More than 40 people have died in the violent agitation that has also overwhelmed Indo-Nepal ties as transit of goods and fuel to the Himalayan nation from India has been badly affected.

The agitation by Madhesi groups has paralysed normal life across Nepal while the dearth of medicines has put lives of patients at stake.

PTI

Madhesis in Nepal seek India’s support

The ongoing agitation by the Madhesis has further intensified with the members of the community squatting on the roads blocking movement of vehicles on the border.

Madhesis

The Madhesi community, which has been agitating against the newly-adopted Constitution of Nepal, has sought “moral” support from India to “force” the Himalayan nation to accept its demands. “We want India to extend moral support to us… India’s support is crucial for us… It will force Nepal to effect necessary changes in the Constitution and accommodate our concerns as well,” says Rajendra Mahato, national president of Sadbhawana Party of Nepal. The ongoing agitation by the Madhesis has further intensified with the members of the community squatting on the roads blocking movement of vehicles on the border. Senior Madhesi leaders from Rupandehi district in Nepal have accused Maoist leader Prachand of misleading the people and throwing the country into chaos and anarchy.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “We want share in the Constitution in proportion to our numerical strength,” Mahendra Yadav, president of the district Madhesi Front in Rupandehi, had told the agitators last week. “We will never accept a Constitution which does not take our interest into account,” he said. Other Madhesi leaders, who also addressed the agitators, made it clear that their protest would continue till their demands are met. The Madhesis are upset that the Constitution divides the country into seven states with some borders slicing through their ancestral plains. The Madhesis, along with several other small ethnic group, also want the states to be larger and be given more autonomy over local matters. Agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front formed a human chain along the highway in 22 districts in the plains from Mechi to Mahakali, Nepal as part of its protest.

Madhesis to continue Nepal-India border blockade until demands met

Shukla told the negotiators of the three parties that previously the state had declared those who were killed during the protests as martyrs, but now the state was not following the precedent.

PTI
Nepal’s United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) on Wednesday told the negotiators of the Government that their blockade of entry points on Nepal-India border would continue until their demands were met.According to The Himalayan Times, UDMF negotiator Sarvendranath Shukla told the Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML and the Unified CPN-Maoist that they should come with a roadmap when they sit for talks again tomorrow.Shukla told the negotiators of the three parties that previously the state had declared those who were killed during the protests as martyrs, but now the state was not following the precedent.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He added that the government had decided to withdraw its decision of declaring some areas in the Tarai districts as riot hit or prohibited zones, but in practice those decisions had not been implemented.The Madhesis felt cheated since the three parties did not abide by the eight-point agreement and hence, they wanted boundary issues resolved soon, Shukla said.On Tuesday, the meeting between Nepal’s three major parties and UDMF had ended inconclusively as the latter demanded concrete agenda on various issues for talks.

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