Washington: The US has said it is closely following the situation in Nepal and asked the people in the country to engage in the democratic process through peaceful means after a 19-year-old Indian was killed in the ongoing violence over the new Constitution.
Extending condolences to the family and loved ones of Ashish Ram of Raxaul in Bihar who was killed after police opened fire on protesters near Birgunj Customs near the Indo-Nepal border, State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau said the US was closely monitoring the situation in Nepal.
"We are aware of the reports (of violence). We're closely following the situation in Nepal. We extend our condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased," Trudeau said yesterday.
"We encourage all Nepalese to continue to engage in the democratic process through peaceful, nonviolent means. We call on Nepali security forces to exercise appropriate restraint as people exercise their democratic rights. And we continue to urge Nepal's leaders to reach an accommodation that builds the broadest possible support for the Constitution," she said.
Ram was killed after receiving a bullet shot in his head in police firing while demonstrating against the new Constitution.
Madhesis - who claim to represent the interests of the Indian-origin inhabitants of Nepal's Terai region (plains) - have been protesting close to the main trading point near Raxaul. Their agitation has led to a halt in supply of essential goods, causing acute shortage of fuel in Nepal.
Their major demands are to redraw the demarcation of the federal provinces and inclusion of more rights and representation to the Indian-origin Madhesi people.
Other demands include martyrdom status to those killed during recent protests, free treatment to the injured, compensation to victims' families and withdrawal of security forces from Terai districts among others.
Talks between Nepal government and Madhesi groups agitating over the country's new constitution on Sunday ended inconclusively, but deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa said the dialogue was moving in a positive direction.
The southern plains of landlocked Nepal have been simmering with tension since the Constitution was formally adopted on September 20.
Over 40 people have died in the violent agitation that has also overwhelmed India-Nepal ties as transit of goods and fuel to the Himalayan nation from India via the major border trading points has been badly affected.