Saptari hospitals closed for last 20 days, patients hitAll hospitals and clinics in Saptari are closed for the past 20 days in protest of the police assault on the staff and patients of Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital.
All hospitals and clinics in Saptari are closed for the past 20 days in protest of the police assault on the staff and patients of Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital.
The health professionals in the district resorted to the protest after a police team On November 22 assaulted the employees and the patients of the zonal hospital. The agitating health workers have set up a camp on the premises of the zonal hospital for emergency services.
The strike has affected thousands of people who are in need of proper medical attention.
Raj Kumar Das, a tuberculosis patient from Akawarpur, said he had to return home without treatment after he learnt about the protest. “The OPD services at the hospital has come to a halt after the clashes,” said Das. “Hundreds of patients have been deprived of health services.” With the hospitals and other health facilities on strike, many people have been compelled to travel to Biratnagar and Dharan for treatment.
Chure supporters take to streets
Supporters of Chure Bhawar Rastriya Ekta Party (CBREP) staged a demonstration along the East-West Highway at Hariwan in Sarlahi, demanding a separate Chure Bhawar state on Friday.
Party Chairman Badri Neupane said that they were compelled to protest as the government did not implementation the nine-point agreement reached in the past. “We will continue to protest until our demands are addressed,” he said.
Meanwhile, the agitating Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM), an alliance of Madhes-based parties spearheading a movement demanding rights for the Madhesi community of the Tarai, organised a human chain from Gaur to Metiyahi in Rautahat district. The SLMM had used many school students in the demonstration. The agitating Tharuhat Struggle Committee also formed a human chain at Harsah Chowk in the district to press the government into addressing the demands of Madhesi and Tharu communities.
In Dhanusha, another alliance of Madhes-centric parties, Sanghiya Samabeshi Madhesi Gathabandhan, organised a gathering at Sabaila Municipality, where the leaders called on the leaders of SLMM and Tharuhat for a united movement to exert pressure on the government.
(With inputs from our local correspondents)
NC seeks SLMM’s support for tabling amendment bills in House
KATHMANDU: Leaders of the main opposition, Nepali Congress (NC), and the agitating Samyukta Loktantrik Madeshi Morcha (SLMM) held a meeting in Kathmandu on Friday to discuss the ways to table three separate bills in Legislative- Parliament related to constitution amendment and setting up a reconstruction authority to carry out reconstruction works damaged by the April 25 earthquake.
In the meeting, NC leaders sought SLMM’s support in tabling the three bills in House, assuring that they will also help the latter to find a package deal on their demands.
“There is no point tabling the proposal without the Morcha’s consent, so we held the meeting to seek a way out. We told the Morcha leaders let’s table the bills in Parliament and continue the discussion on other demands, including demarcation of the federal units,” NC leader Bimalendra Nidhi said.
According to Nidhi, getting the bills to Parliament could help boost the confidence of both sides to hold a more meaningful exchange. The NC has said that the language and content of the bills could be revised based on consensus of all political parties.
“Tabling the Bills in Parliament will not end the possibility of negotiation on demarcation of federal units,” Nidhi said.
The SLMM leaders suggested the NC that delineation of federal units should be based on the report prepared by the State Restructuring Commission.
NC leaders assured they were ready to discuss the package deal with the SLMM leaders once the bills are tabled.
The two sides have agreed to sit for another round of meeting on Saturday before holding talks with the ruling parties for revision of language and content of the bills. (PR)
MPS proposal to condemn embargo
KATHMANDU: Lawmakers of three fringe parties have registered a proposal at Parliament, seeking a formal condemnation against the Indian embargo on Nepal.
Chandra Dev Joshi of CPN (United), Shiva Lal Thapa of Rastriya Janamukti Party and Laxman Rajbanshi of Nepa Rastriya Party registered the proposal at the Parliament Secretariat on Friday. The lawmakers claimed that the Indian side is reluctant to lift the blockade at border crossings despite incessant pressure from the international community. “Such arbitrary action should be condemned by the parliament in a strong word,” they said in the proposal.
The three parties have also asked the India to respect the international transit rights of a landlocked country.
Nepal’s unrest worries residents of Jogbani
Jitendra Sah [Jogbani (Bihar)]
Locals of Jogbani, the Indian border town across Biratnagar, have expressed concern about the ongoing situation in Nepal due to prolonged the protest and the border blockade.
Sitendar Maheshwori, a local trader at Jogbani, said they are worried by the violence taking place in several Tarai districts. “We hope that this crisis will end soon,” he said. “Our relationship with Nepalis across the border is very good and this should be continued in the future.”
Dilip Singh, who deals electrical appliances, shared a similar sentiment towards Nepal and the Nepalis living across the border from Jogbani, many of whom visit his shop on a regular basis.
“Since the border blockade, I have sold many electrical cookers to Nepali customers, which is a good thing. But it would be an absolute remiss on my part, if I didn’t acknowledge the sufferings faced by Nepali people,” said Singh.
Jogbani, which is a popular shopping destination for Nepalis living in Biratnagar, its nearby towns, and places as far as Sunsari and Jhapa, does not wish for its relationship to suffer due to the protest and the blockade.
“More than anything else, we want to keep this cross-border relationship as smooth and harmonious as possible. Though we belong to separate nations, we have lived as a family for years, “ Singh said.
Mantu Kumar Bhagat said as much the Nepalis across the border are dependant on Jogbani’s market, the business community of Jogbani are also equally dependant on their Nepali customers.
“Most of our customers are Nepalis. In fact, 70 percent of the business activities that take place in Jogbani has been sustained by Nepalis,” Bhagat said.
Jogbani-based trader Raju Gupta said the town’s business has suffered greatly in the wake of the protest and the blockade.
“The only way our business will prosper is if Nepal is peaceful. We, the people of Jogbani, will also be delighted if the crisis in Nepal is solved,” Gupta said.
Prem Kumar Sahu, who runs a pharmacy at Jogbani, said the leaders of Nepal, India and the leaders of the agitating Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha are equally responsible for the ongoing situation.
“I am very much against the violence the Morcha supporters have committed in the name of protest,” he said. “Jogbani will be nothing if our Nepali friends stop visiting here for shopping.”
There has been a noticeable increase in the cross-border traffic between Biratnagar and Jogbani in the recent days.
Krishna Gupta, an officer of the Indian border security force, Sashastra Seema Bal, said they have stepped up their vigilance at the border to control protests and violence at the border crossing.
“We, on our part, have never restricted the cross-border movement. It was the protest at the crossing that had obstructed the cargo movement in the past. But now we don’t have that problem. The border area is normal as before these days,” Gupta said.
Sub-inspector of Nepal Police Bikash Khatri said they have been coordinating with the Indian security agency to maintain order in the border area. “We have been working closely, and that is why the people were able to visit Jogbani even when the Morcha supporters were protesting,” he said.