Photos from yesterday’s protests
Himal, Pahad, Terai: Kohi Chhaina Parai CPN Maoist organized rally in Bhairahawa that stressed on communal harmony in Nepali society. Many activists associated with other political parties and general citizens took part in the rally to protest communal incidents in eastern Terai recently. Pics by Madhav Dhungana
Rally in Bhairahawa
Terai sees no respite, 1 dies in Kalaiya
KATHMANDU, Jan 28 – Unrest in terai districts continued unabated even as relative normalcy returned to the eastern towns of Biratnagar, Itahari, Inaruwa and Lahan today. One protester was killed in police firing in Kalaiya of Bara while protesters threatened and attacked journalists and human rights activists at many places. In the wake of growing violence, local administrations imposed curfew in the three terai towns of Janakpur, Kalaiya and Gaur in order to thwart any untoward incident.
One Jamir Alam, 15, was killed while as many as 12 others were injured in police firing. Alam died when police opened fire after they clashed with protesters of Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF) at Devkota Chowk of Kalaiya at around 4 pm. Nepali Army helicopter brought four seriously injured and their attendants to Kathmandu for treatment late in the evening.
The berserk group later vandalized party offices of Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, Nepali Congress-Democratic and some government offices at Kalaiya. On Saturday, one protester was killed in Kalaiya after police opened fire to contain violent protest. The Bara MPRF announced those killed its martyrs and demanded compensation from the government. (more)
Madheshi Peoples’ Rights Forum Activists stormed into Birgunj FM station and vandalized the office. In the photo above, people are listening to the live broadcast of the incident from the same station. Pic by Subodh Singh
Journalists, media houses attacked
BIRGUNJ, Jan 29- Demonstrators in the protests called by Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF) Sunday attacked journalists and media houses here in the town. Seeking out at every nook and cranny in the town, protesters singled out and beat up several local journalists throughout the day. They started vandalizing local media houses later in the afternoon. Several journalists left town as MPRF cadres threatened media personnel. Journalists fled the town after the cadres announced a list of certain journalists against whom action would be taken. They were still hunting for some journalists including Post correspondents.
A rally that defied curfew orders vandalized local FM station Radio Birgunj and branch office of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ). The station’s broadcast was disrupted for some hours following the attack. Some 60 to 70 protesters stormed the station, according to Dipendra Chauhan, news coordinator of the station. Protesters also vandalized four motorcycles of the FM station, some equipment of BBC Radio Nepali Service and Communication Corner.
After vandalizing Radio Birgunj, the mob was heading toward Narayani FM. However, security men deployed at the station foiled their attempts at vandalism there, according to managing director of the station Govinda Devkota. “This is a conspiracy hatched by regressive forces against the newly-established loktantra,” said Chauhan, who is also a member of Press Council, adding, “Journalists will however tackle it patiently.” Protesters had brutally beaten up photojournalist Ram Sarraf earlier in the morning. He is undergoing treatment at Narayani sub-regional hospital. Likewise, the group also beat up journalists Dhruva Sah and Bhuvan Jha.
Meanwhile, editors and publishers of seven daily newspapers have declared in unison they will not publish their editions from Tuesday in protest of the attack against journalists and media houses. They took the decision at a meeting held here on Sunday evening following the attacks. Journalists have also blamed the police forces of being mute spectators during the incidents. During the protest, irate demonstrators also burnt down a police unit at Gandak area, survey and customs offices, and vandalized some private houses.
In Bara, journalists could not go outside to cover news and take photographs of demonstrations as protesters were hunting for some journalists to take action against them. Meanwhile, issuing a statement, MPRF Sunsari chapter has urged journalists and human rights activists to cover news of the protests and monitor activities without any fear and terror. The statement issued by the district chairman also has committed not to hinder them.
Members of Mohattari district’s People’s Movement Committee and Maoists took out a rally in Jaleshwor putting forward five demands. Pics by Rabindra Upriety
Police and locals in Mohattari trying to extinguish the fire set in the distict education office by the activists of Madheshi Peoples’ Rights Forum.
A rally organized in Jhapa demanding communal harmony.
Activists of Madheshi Peoples’ Rights Forum listen to a speaker in a protest meeting in Janaandolan Chowk in Biratnagar. Pic by Bhim Ghimire