Koshi government and agitating group ink five-point dealThe Province 1 Renaming Joint Struggle Committee agrees to adopt peaceful protests to press its demands.
The Koshi Province government and the Province 1 Renaming Joint Struggle Committee, an organisation protesting against the naming of the province as Koshi, signed a five-point agreement on Friday.
As per the agreement, the struggle committee will change the modality of its agitation and adopt peaceful protests, the provincial government will provide free medical treatment to those injured during the protests, and all the cases filed against the protesters will be withdrawn, said Kamal Prasad Jabegu, minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport of the province.
Jabegu, also the spokesperson for the government-formed dialogue committee, added that the two sides have also agreed to hold additional rounds of discussion before February 22 to find a permanent solution to the issue.
According to Dakendra Singh Thegim, spokesperson for the struggle committee, the talks between the two sides were fruitful and the committee had withdrawn its protests, and that they now wouldn’t obstruct federal as well as provincial lawmakers while visiting their constituencies.
Friday’s five-point agreement has created a peaceful political environment in the Koshi Province, which will help in carrying out development works, said Koshi Chief Minister Kedar Karki.
Previously, discussions held between the two sides on September 21, 2023, under the leadership of then Koshi Chief Minister Hikmat Karki, had yielded no results. Later on September 30, the agitating committee had refused to sit for talks with the government.
With the support of major parties including the Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre), the provincial assembly had named the province as Koshi, on May 1, 2023.
However, soon after the nomenclature, various ethnic groups in the province including the Rai and Limbu communities took to the streets, protesting against the naming. They have demanded that the province be given a name that reflects the identity of the major indigenous ethnic communities residing in the region.
At times, their protests turned violent as they targeted leaders of major parties while visiting eastern districts. On March 24, 2023, one Padam Limbu Lajehang, who had been injured during a protest called on by the Province 1 Renaming Joint Struggle Committee on March 19, died in the course of treatment in Biratnagar.