Protests rage against boundary revision plan, clash in Butwal

Rupandehi, Palpa districts shut against the proposal to break Hill districts off Province 5

Dec 2, 2016-Protests against the constitution amendment bill turned violent in Butwal and Rupandehi on Thursday while demonstrations continued in several other districts.

The agitators enforced banda in Rupandehi and Palpa districts protesting the statute amendment bill that was registered in Parliament on Tuesday with a proposal to split Province 5. Several political parties, student groups, business community, civil society leaders and the general public demonstrated in Gulmi, Arghakhanchi, Rolpa, Pyuthan, Kapilvastu, Dang and Banke districts.

In Butwal, tension flared up as the protesters clashed with police. The demonstrators and security personnel hurled stones at each other. Tension escalated after some youths carrying national flags started vandalising the martyr’s memorial pillar and park at Hospitalline. Police said they were compelled to use force to disperse the unruly mob.

The martyr’s memorial park was built by the CPN (Maoist Centre) two years ago. The enraged protesters removed the hammer and sickle from there and hoisted the national flag.

Meanwhile, the CPN-UML and its student wing All Nepal National Free Students’ Union (ANNFSU) said they were not involved in the vandalism. They demanded identification of the guilty and action against them.

The ANNFSU was one of the student unions that have begun an indefinite Rupandehi banda. Normal life was greatly affected in the district due to the shutdown. Transportation was disrupted while marketplaces, business enterprises and educational institutions remained shut.

In Palpa, the students and local youths enforced an indefinite banda to protest against the government’s proposal of splitting the district from Province 5. They staged demonstrations since early morning. Vehicular movement came to a halt but the protesters let ambulances and vehicles belonging to the press and dairy ply the road.

Protesters from Rolpa and Pyuthan organised a mass meeting at Khungri. Thousands of people from Thawang of Rolpa to Syalibang of Pyuthan attended the protest. They chanted slogans against the government, warning that they would not accept the plan to divide their area from Province 5 for merger with Province 4.

Similar protests were organised in Gulmi and Arghakhanchi districts. Demonstrators picketed the District Administration Office and the District Development Committee office in Gulmi. They did not let government employees enter the offices. In Arghakhanchi, the political parties staged demonstrations forming a joint struggle committee. They have formed an 11-member struggle committee led by Nepali Congress district President Bishnu Prasad Khanal. The UML and its sister organisations demonstrated in Dang and Banke.

(With inputs from our district correspondents)

Published: 02-12-2016 07:55

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