Madhesi Forum, Ignoring the Parliament, Sends Agitation Out of Control

Even if these latest round of protests were part of pressure tactics, they must now be stopped because the parliament has addressed the demands of Madhesi people.

As Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF or MPRF) continues claiming that the movement is going out of its control, violence created by its cadres has significantly grown in some parts of Terai. This escalation in protest comes at a time when the parliament has amended the interim constitution to include the demands made by the recent Madhesi movement. Today’s amendment, first of two phases, was as per the commitment made by Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala in his address to the nation a few weeks ago.

The amendment aims to determine a federal system as the future model of governance, ensure proportional share to Madhesis, Dalits, ethnic groups, women, laborers, peasants, disabled and people from backward classes and regions in all the state organs and revise the current electoral constituencies. According to amendment, the proposed Constituency Delimitation Commission will revise existing electoral constituencies. The Commission is to be headed by a retired Supreme Court justice which will recommend the number of constituencies to be added in the Terai region based on its proportion of population. In the hilly and mountain districts the increment will be based on the population growth. The bill also proposes amending Article 138 of the interim statute to ensure that future model of the state would be federal.

But in Nepalgunj MJF cadres clash with police, Administration orders 13-hour curfew from 3 PM this afternoon in the Nandalmill-Khajura road stretch and surrounding areas. A clash had broken out between forum cadres and security personnel in Piparwaha in the Nepalgunj-Kohalpur stretch. The scuffle first broke out when the security personnel -deployed to provide security to the vehicles plying on the road -went to remove the obstacles put by the members of the forum in the highway running through Piparwaha. Around 14 persons were injured from both sides in the clash.

According to police, the forum cadres also pelted stones at them while they were trying to clear the road in order to let emergency vehicles like ambulances pass. The police had opened a round of blank fire and used tear gas shells. The forum cadres accused the police of opening fire and also of beating up a local woman. District chairman of the forum Sarvadev Ojha claimed that some unruly forces were trying to make the MPRF movement violent and accused the administration of not being able to maintain security. (more)