Communal Tension:Nepalgunj incident

Nepalgunj has remained a sensitive place ever since it showed signs of Hindu Muslim clash in 2004 after 12 Nepalese were killed in Iraq. And the recurrence of another communal conflict when the nation is in transition can be signs of danger if not addressed on time. Here is more about the first curfew order issued by the government after the 19 day April Movement from Ekantipur

6-hour curfew clamped in Nepalgunj

By J Pandey

BANKE, Dec 26 – The District Administration Office of Banke on Tuesday imposed a curfew in the wake of a rising tide of communal tensions in Nepalgunj.

The local administration issued the curfew orders effective from 11 am to 5:30 pm today “to prevent disruption of communal harmony.”

Tensions were high in Nepalgunj following a scuffle that ensued on Monday between Madheshis (people from Terai region) and Pahades (people from Hilly region) during a Madhesh banda (general strike) called by Nepal Sadbhawana Party (Anandidevi) (NSP-A).

A scuffle ensued this morning between protestors and transport entrepreneurs against vandalism that went on during yesterday’s strike, following which the DAO imposed the curfew order.

The police fired at least six rounds of tear gas earlier today in addition to firing shots in the air to control the street violence.

Both sides however defied the curfew order as they continued their agitation on the streets.

Meanwhile, major political parties including Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, NC-D, Jana Morcha Nepal, NSP-A, CPN-Maoist have appealed the locals to show restraint and to prevent the situation from worsening.

Likewise, representatives of the civil society, journalists and various others professional organizations also urged the locals not to act against the spirit of communal harmony.

This is the first curfew order issued after the April pro-democracy movement.