Madhesi protesters demand justice as agitation continues

Birgunj (Nepal), Oct.24 (ANI): Thousands of protesters continue to obstruct the movement of traffic from India to Nepal at Miteri Bridge at the Birgunj-Raxaul border point as they demand justice and equal rights from the government.

For over a month now, the Madhesi protesters are opposing Nepal’s new Constitution.

To ease out the problem, the newly formed government recently formed a four-member talks team under Dy. Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affais Kamal Thapa to hold dialogue with the protesting Madhesi and Janajati forces.

However, the protesters demand proper justice and equal rights as assured by the former governments.

Rajendra Mahato, President of the Nepal Sadbhavana Party, said, “We are ready for talks, but we want an assurance of implementation of agreements held in the past. The government must take the responsibility of the atrocities and incidents held in recent past. Those who were killed in police firing, the government must declare them as martyrs, pay compensation to their family members and provide medical treatment to those who are injured. They should also take back the false cases filed on the protesters.”

Tharu and Madhesi forces have been agitating for the last two months and have been imposing blockade at the border entry points between India and Nepal for almost a month that has affected supplies of essential items into the hills of Nepal from India.

Mahato further said, “People are suffering with the ongoing blockades, but the government is behaving like a mere spectator. People’s problems are out problems and we must find a solution. It is the responsibility of the government but they have backtracked with the responsibility. They have not taken any step to settle down the issue.”

The protesting parties have demanded, among other things, withdrawal of armed police force from Terai districts and withdrawal of cases against their leader and cadres and martyrdom status of those killed during protests.

Ramesh Prasad Kurmi, a Madhesi leader, said, “In the ongoing Madhesh movement, at least 40 to 45 have sacrificed their lives. We are really saddened by these killings. The incidents of firing on innocent civilians by the government are the violations of human rights.”

According the Human Rights Watch, at least 45 people were killed during the protests in August and September. The violence included the use of arbitrary and disproportionate force and extrajudicial killings by the police against protesters. (ANI)

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