Protest at no-man’s-land, shipment stuck on border

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Shortage of daily essentials like cooking gas and fuel takes toll due to blockade on border points

Sep 30, 2015-Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha has been blocking the cross-border movements between Nepal and India by staging protests at various border points, no-man’s-land and Indian territory.

 The Morcha supporters on Tuesday assaulted cargo truck drivers and vandalised some vehicles stranded at Sunauli, the Indian town that shares border with Nepal. Three tankers filled with petroleum products were vandalised at Ram Janaki Temple in Sunauli. Anup Thapa, assistant to the driver of one of the tankers,  said the protesters also assaulted them.

“Indian police who arrived at the scene rebuked the drivers for travelling without their permission,” said a witness, who claimed that Morcha also organised a corner meet at the premises of Ram Janaki Temple.

Meanwhile, Sadbhawana Party leader Omprakash Yadav (Guljari) said the Indian locals were also involved in the incident. “We will continue to obstruct the vehicles entering Nepal from the border points as we are unable to organise our protest in Nepal’s territory,” he said.

The situation at the Sunauli-Bhairahawa border point remained tense throughout the day. The Morcha protesters also clashed with the group who had come to defy the banda in Belahiya, the border point of Nepal.

Police also apprehended two Morcha supporters for throwing stones from the Indian side. Yogendra Chaudhary of Pokharbhindi-1 and Mohammad Hasan Rajaak of Hatibangai-9 were arrested, police said.

A large number of security personnel, both from Nepal and India, have been deployed at the border areas. KS Bankoti, commandant of the Indian border security force, Seema Surakshya Bal (SSB), said he has taken the initiative to move the stranded cargo trucks to Nepal.

“Indian Customs Office along with India Police is also responsible to move vehicles from here,” he said.

The Morcha staged demonstrations at no-man’s-land in Nepalgunj- Rupaidiha border point after the Nepal Police held five of its leaders from the border point. The Madhesi leaders said they were compelled to take their protest to the no-man’s land as the local administration did not permit them to stage their sit-in protest at the border.

The no-man’s land between Birgunj and Raxaul has also been converted into a demonstration zone. The protesters have been staging a sit-in under tents erected at Miteri bridge. The protesters moved towards the no-man’s land and Indian territory as Nepal Police arrested the protesters demonstrating on Nepali territory.

The SSB also tightened the security at Jogbani point. They have been inquiring each Nepali citizens travelling from the border point. Biratnagar Customs informed that there are around 1, 000 cargo trucks stuck at the border point.

Mechi Customs Premises in Kakadbhitta has been deserted due to the ongoing blockade on import of goods from the Indian side.

The officials of the customs office said only around 40 trucks laden with vegetables, meat and fruits entered Nepal in the past one week. The Pashupatinagar border point also has been deserted due to the blockade.

People across the country have been reeling under shortage of daily essentials, including cooking gas and petroleum products, due to the protest and the ongoing blockade on import of goods from the Indian side.

Anti-Indian protests continue

Enraged at India’s blockade of essential supplies to Nepal, people took out protest rallies in several places across the country on Tuesday as well. The protesters vented their ire against India for meddling in Nepal’s internal affairs and attacking the country’s sovereignty on various pretexts.

In Dang, students staged a “whistle rally” to protest India’s blockade of essential commodities at various border points. The rally converged into a corner meet at Shahid Gate. Addressing the meeting, the student leaders warned of launching strong protest in the coming days.

Likewise, the students at Myanglung, the district headquarters of Tehrathum, burned the effigy of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to protest the blockade. Hundreds of students gathered at the district headquarters to participate in the protest.  

Anti-India protests were also taken out in other districts, including Dailekh, Baglung and Dhankuta.

Published: 30-09-2015 08:43

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