Protesters threaten with 24-hr blockadeMadhesi and Tharu parties have decided to ratchet up protests over the new constitution by issuing a threat to impose a 24-hour blockade at major Nepal-India border crossings.
Madhesi and Tharu parties have decided to ratchet up protests over the new constitution by issuing a threat to impose a 24-hour blockade at major Nepal-India border crossings.
Unveiling further protest programmes on Wednesday, the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) and Tharuhat/Tharuwan Joint Struggle Committee (TJSC)—two fronts leading the protests in the eastern and western plains—decided to disrupt the East West highway and cut off supplies to the Capital.
“Giving continuity to all past decisions and programmes of Tharuhat/Tharuwan Joint Struggle Committee, there will be 24-hour highway-centric general strike,” the committee said in a statement. Earlier, the SLMM had also decided to focus much of its protests along the highway.
Madhesi and Tharu leaders had reached an understanding before formulating the protest programmes. The Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar-led Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik (MJF-L) and its allies, who had previously been protesting under the separate front, have also agreed to join forces on the ground despite differences among their top leaders over a united alliance.
Leaders of the both fronts said the decision was aimed at mounting pressure on Kathmandu. “There has been an understanding among all protesting forces to intensify the protest unless our demands are addressed,” said Upendra Yadav, chairman of the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal, which has been demanding the formation of two provinces—Tharuhat/Madhes provinces—along the Tarai plain.
A meeting of the SLMM in Rajbiraj on Wednesday decided to step up their agitation at a time when the three major parties have been trying to forge consensus with the agitating Madhes-based parties.
“We are not against talks under current circumstances. But the government should first address our genuine concerns,” said Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party Chair Mahanta Thakur.