Strike over Constitution work paralyses Nepal
Kathmandu: Normal life across Nepal was paralysed as major ethnic groups enforced a general strike on Thursday protesting against state restructuring based on ethnicity and demanding identification in the new Constitution.
The strike partially crippled life in the capital city as major markets remained closed and vehicular movement came to standstill. Schools, colleges, factories and business establishments remained closed during the strike.
The police rounded up at least 50 activists belonging to the Bramhin Kshetriya Ekta Samaj from different parts of the capital as they were trying to enforce the strike, said chief district officer of Kathmandu, Ratna Raj Pandey.
However, the strike remained largely peaceful in Kathmandu valley where sporadic demonstrations were witnessed.
Over 5,000 security personnel were mobilised in the capital to avert any untoward situation.
Nepal's Constituent Assembly is trying to finish a Constitution by May 27. It is struggling on how many federal states there should be and if they should be based on ethnic population or geographic terrain.
In Far-West Nepal's districts, the general strike entered into 14th day on today, resulting in hardship to the local people.
Tharus, the dominant community of Western Terai, and various other ethnic groups are enforcing the strike to press for their demands for a single autonomous region for the Far-West Nepal in the new Constitution.
The strike also affected normal life in Western and Mid-Western Nepal including Bhairahawa, Butawal, Kaski, Syangja, Dang and Pal districts.
The demands include federal restructuring by guaranteeing identification of the majority ethnic groups of the country including Bramhins and Kshetriyas, restructuring of the states on the basis of economic viability and human capability rather than ethnicity and releasing all the cadres arrested by the police in connection with the strike.