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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

Ready to reroute vehicles carrying medicines: India to Nepal

Nepal is facing acute shortage of fuel, medicine and other essential supplies due to the blockade amid protests by Indian-origin Madhesi people who are opposed to splitting the country into seven provinces in the new Constitution.

Nepal protests.
File Photo
PTI
As Nepal reels under severe shortage of medicines and other essential goods due to blockade of key trade points, India today said it was ready to facilitate rerouting of vehicles carrying drugs to the landlocked country and even airlifting medical supplies.External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup reiterated that there has been “no blockade” by India and the problem was political in nature which has to be resolved by the Nepalese leadership through dialogue. He said India has conveyed to Nepal that it was “ready to facilitate rerouting of vehicles carrying medicines. We are also ready to facilitate airlift. Nepalese importers of medicines are also advised to use those border crossings where there is no protest and disruptions in supply”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nepal is facing acute shortage of fuel, medicine and other essential supplies due to the blockade amid protests by Indian-origin Madhesi people who are opposed to splitting the country into seven provinces in the new Constitution. Hospitals in the country have run out of medicines and they are facing acute shortage of other essential medical supplies.”There has been no blockade by India, whatsoever. This question should really be put to Government of Nepal and not to the government of India. There is no blockade by India and I want to repeat it for umpteen times. Issues facing Nepal are political in nature. They are internal to Nepal and Nepalese leadership has to resolve them through dialogue with the agitating parties,” he said replying to a question on the blockade along the Terai region bordering India.He hoped that addressing concerns of the protesters will help in restoring peace in the affected areas.”If the political challenges facing Nepal are addressed, we can hope it would assuage the concerns of the protesters leading to peace and normalcy in the affected areas of the Terai including the border crossings currently occupied by Nepalese protesters,” said Swarup.The MEA Spokesperson said the shortages in Nepal were due to the blockade of major border crossing points of Birgunj-Raxaul border trading point which handles two-thirds of trade between the two countries.Till last evening, nearly 6,000 trucks are waiting to cross into Nepal at various border crossings including 4,700 at Raxaul, he said adding out of the 10 border points, capable of handling commercial cargo, seven including Sunauli and Panitanki have been operational”I can confirm to you that between 400 and 800 cargo trucks have been passing daily over the last four days through the India Nepal border. Petrol and lubricants supplies continue to move to the extent possible,” he said.Nepal has bee accusing India of imposing the blockade. India has been firmly denying having any role in imposing the blockade, saying truck drivers are concerned for their safety after violent protests against Nepal’s new Constitution in which over 40 people were killed.

Birgunj police firing: Nepal Ambassador meets MEA, terms shooting ‘tragic incident’

Madhesi protesters, who have reportedly blocked the Maitri bridge, claimed that they were ‘baton-charged’ by the Nepal Police

Image Courtesy: Twitter (ANI)
Expressing India’s concern over killing of its citizen in the Nepal Police firing, Ministry of External Affairs Official Spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Monday said India is deeply concerned at reports of firing in Birgunj, as issues facing Nepal are political in nature and cannot be resolved by force. One person has been killed and six others injured in firing by the Nepal Police during protests at the Indo-Nepal Border near Bihar’s Raxaul town.Nepal’s Ambassador to India, Deep Kumar Upadhyaya has spoken with the MEA. Calling it firing a tragic incident, Upadhaya said, “Our concerned officers are looking into matter.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This is a bilateral issue between India and Nepal, diplomatically we have to consult each other. The peace dialogue between agitating parties and Nepal government is going on,” the Nepal Ambassador added.Earlier today, a second year BA student was killed in ‘ No Man’s Land’ when the Nepal Police opened fire. Among those injured, three were baton-charged, while the rest suffered bullet injuries. Swarup said, “Causes underlying the present state of confrontation need to be addressed by the Government of Nepal credibly and effectively. Indian freight forwarders and transporters have voiced their worries again today (Monday) about the deteriorating situation across the border. We are advising them to exercise caution and not put themselves in danger. We are monitoring the situation carefully’,” he added.According to reports, the borders have been sealed again.All trucks, including fuel carriers, have been barred from entering Nepal. Madhesi protesters, who have reportedly blocked the Maitri bridge, claimed that they were ‘baton-charged’ by the Nepal Police on Monday for blocking a bridge at the Indo-Nepal Border near Bihar’s Raxaul town. The protesting parties have demanded, among other things, withdrawal of armed police force from Terai districts and withdrawal of cases against their leader and cadres and martyrdom status of those killed during protests.According the Human Rights Watch, at least 45 people were killed during the protests in August and September. For over two months now, the Madhesi protesters have been opposing Nepal’s new Constitution. With agency inputs

dna Must Read for evening: Congress defends Rahul Gandhi remark, Indian killed in Nepal firing, SRK’s birthday & more

Here are the top 5 reads from dna.

1) Nothing wrong in Rahul Gandhi’s remark, PM Modi misused machinery: Congress- Party spokesman Anand Sharma said there was “nothing wrong” in Gandhi’s statement as it was a part of the political discourse. 2) Less girls in B-schools: Chanda Kochhar blames excessive focus on maths in entrance tests.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>3) Indian killed as Nepal police clear protesting Madhesis from Indo-Nepal border: Ashish Ram of Raxaul in Bihar was killed as police opened fire on protesters. 4) #HappyBirthdayKingKhan: Shah Rukh Khan’s AbRam waving to fans outside Mannat will make you go awww!- Here is the most adorable thing you will read today. 5) Gujarat HC reserves order on second sedition FIR against Hardik Patel: The Gujarat High Court on Monday reserved its order after hearing arguments on a plea of Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel and five others seeking quashing of FIR against them.

Shiv Sena takes dig at BJP President Amit Shah for ‘invoking’ Pakistan in Bihar polls

Shiv Sena’s latest jibe at BJP comes a day after Shah told an election meeting at Raxaul that Pakistan will celebrate by bursting firecrackers in the event of the NDA’s defeat in Bihar.
File Photo
PTI
Shiv Sena on Friday took a swipe at BJP president Amit Shah for “invoking Pakistan to win electoral benefits” in the ongoing Bihar polls while his party’s government “rolled out red carpet” for Pakistanis in Mumbai.”The BJP president invokes Pakistan during elections in Bihar apparently to polarize the voters yet his party’s government in Maharashtra rolls out red carpet in Mumbai for Pakistani dignitaries,” Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut told reporters.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena’s latest jibe at BJP comes a day after Shah told an election meeting at Raxaul that Pakistan will celebrate by bursting firecrackers in the event of the NDA’s defeat in Bihar. Raut claimed that it was Shiv Sena which has consistently crusaded against Pakistan for its “anti-India activities”.The Shiv Sena had opposed legendary Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s programme in Mumbai leading to cancellation of the event. Some Sena workers had blackened the face of BJP leader Sudheendra Kulkarni to protest against his decision to go ahead with launch of former Pakistan Foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book; Neither a Hawk Nor a Dove : An Insider’s Account of Pakistan’s Foreign Relations’ in the western metropolis earlier this month.

Rajnath Singh talks to Nepalese PM as Kathmandu seeks supplies from China

Sushil Koirala

With crisis ridden Nepal only a day away from linking its border trade point Tatopani with China, Union home minister Rajnath Singh sought indulgence of Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and chairman of CPN-UML, K P Oli to sort out the standoff that has led to the blockade on the border.Speaking to the two Nepalese leaders over phone, Rajnath requested them to initiate dialogue with agitating Madhesi groups. Singh said he would also appeal to Madhesi groups to end violence and go in for talks with the Nepal government, sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Striking a positive note, Rajnath Singh told both the leaders that the two countries are the best of friends and will always remain so.As the blockade on the border entered the seventh day on Birgunj-Raxaul border check point, fuel shortage in Nepal led to closure of schools. According to reports coming from Kathmandu, the government has also ordered private vehicles not to ply on the roads to ration fuel.According to Nepalese officials, even the Hospitals are facing closure because of lack of fuel supply, while International airlines have been asked to carry their own aviation fuel by Nepal due to unavailability of aviation turbine fuel (ATF).About 31 fuel tankers left for Kathmandu from Sanauli – Bhairawa border crossing, but according to Nepalese officials they don’t meet even half of a day’s fuel requirements and the only way out is to open Birgunj – Raxaul border.“We need at least 70 fuel tankers a day to meet our daily requirements and that can only be meted once trucks start plying through Birgunj checkpoint,” a senior Nepalese official told dna.At least a 10 kilometre long queue of trucks has been formed at Birgunj-Raxaul border that India says is due to refusal by truckers to cross over for fear of violence. Nepal says it movement of trucks has nothing to with violence which is sporadic and contained and even its own truckers are not being allowed to ply by the Indian border guarding forces.There were reports that at Tatopani border trade point with China, over 400 Chinese trucks are waiting to carry fuel and other essential supplies to Kathmandu which is only 114 kilometres away from Tatopani.“The road that was damaged during the April earthquake is being restored and in all probability will be ready for use in next two days,” a Nepalese official said.The other border trade point with China at Shikharbesi is also undergoing restoration at a quick pace.Though India has termed the standoff between Madhesi groups and Nepal government as an internal matter that needs to be sorted out amicably by Nepal, the anger against India is on the rise, at least, in Kathmandu where general public has started accusing India of deliberately imposing the blockade.

Rahul Gandhi to visit quake-hit Bihar

Gandhi will visit relief camps housing earthquake victims.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
In his first tour to Bihar since the Lok Sabha polls last year, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will visit relief camps housing earthquake victims on Saturday.These victims have returned from Nepal in Raxaul of border East Champaran district.India Today quoted party leader saying that Rahul Gandhi will visit Raxaul, Darbhanga, and Sitamarhi on Saturday to meet the victims and take stock of the situation of ongoing rescue and relief operations.The death toll in quake-hit Bihar has reached 58.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related read: Nepal earthquake: Nitish Kumar reviews relief work in border areas

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