Madhesis, ethnic groups announce fresh month-long protests

Nepali Defence Minister Bhim Rawal said the government is engaged in diplomatic efforts towards lifting the "undeclared blockade" imposed by India in southern border of Nepal.

PTI| Updated: Nov 23, 2015, 00:33 AM IST

Kathmandu: Nepal's Madhes-based parties and ethnic groups on Sunday jointly agreed to launch fresh month-long protests in the volatile Terai region beginning tomorrow to press for more rights and representation in the newly promulgated Constitution.

On the first day of their protests, a condolence meeting will be organised here in memory of those killed during the three month-long agitation in southern Nepal which totals to more than 40.

As per the programme, protest rallies and public meetings will be organised in different parts of the country including Sunsari, Morang, Dhanusha, Sarlahi, Bara, Makanwanpur, Rupendehi and Kailali.

A meeting of nine political parties including Federal Socialist Forum Nepal, Terai Madhes Democratic Party, Sadbhawana Party, Tharuhat Terai Party and Federal Limbuwan Party Nepal held here today which decided the programme.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Bhim Rawal has said that attacking on ambulance, injuring sick persons going for treatment and burning trucks carrying medicines cannot be called democratic exercise or peaceful protests.

He was hinting towards the incidents of Friday and yesterday when an ambulance was attacked, a sick child and a patient with oxygen cylinder was injured by agitators and setting ablaze a truck carrying medicines during protests in southern Nepal.

Rawal said the government is engaged in diplomatic efforts towards lifting the "undeclared blockade" imposed by India in southern border of Nepal.

He said the opening of Nepal's trading point with Tibet in the north cannot be termed as anti-India move as the Nepal government is trying to establish balanced relations with both the neighbours based on the principle of Panchasheel.

Nepal has accused India of siding with the protesters and meddling in its internal affairs, a charge New Delhi denies.

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