Strike in Nepal; many press vehicles damaged

At least half a dozen vehicles belonging to different media organisations were vandalised during the first day.

Kathmandu: At least half a dozen vehicles belonging to different media organisations were vandalised during the first day of the three-day general strike in Nepal.

The strike called by Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities representing various ethnic groups including Newars, Tharus, Muslims and other minority groups brought life to a virtual standstill in major cities across Nepal including Kathmandu.

Transportation services were halted, educational institutions shut and markets were closed, as the ethnic groups enforced the strike to demand identity based federal states in the new constitution.
The agitating groups had promised to spare vehicles belonging to press, red cross, human rights groups, drinking water corporation and tourists.

Some agitators also burnt copies of The Kathmandu Post for not publishing their news and being "biased" against the agitating ethnic groups.

As the Broader Madhesi Front has also extended support to today`s closure, the most of the Terai districts in southern Nepal were also affected by the strike.

The general strike was called to demand the names and territory of various federal states and guarantee of rights and representation of indigenous nationalities in the new constitution.

Although NEFIN Chairman Raj Kumar Lekhi issued a press statement urging not to obstruct the movement of vehicles of media, ambulances, diplomatic organisations, Human Rights and Red Cross, the strike enforcers vandalised media vehicles this morning.

A vehicle of Nagarik Daily returning back after delivering newspapers has also been vandalised in the tourist hub Pokhara.

Another vehicle of Kantipur Publication has also been damaged in Buddhanagar of Kathmandu.
A vehicle belonging to Karobar Daily was also vandalised by the agitators in Kupandole of Kathmandu.

They also damaged a van of Kantipur Television in Kathmandu and torched two motorbikes belonging to the Himalayan Television and Sagarmatha Television in Kathmandu.

Police have arrested some two dozen people from different parts of the capital for enforcing the strike and vandalising vehicles, Kathmandu District Administration Office said.

Besides the regular business in Kathmandu, its tourism sector has also been badly affected by the frequent strikes called by various ethnic groups.


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