UML changes venue for safety

  • Mechi-Mahakali campaign
  • Prime minister, National Human Rights Commission urge Madhesi Morcha not to disturb peaceful events
- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Mar 6, 2017-After the Madhesi Morcha’s threat to disrupt its campaign in Saptari district, the CPN-UML has decided to change the venue of its mass meeting on Monday with a view to averting possible clashes with the regional parties.

UML leaders had been saying that they would go ahead with their planned demonstrations, demanding that the government should provide security to their programme, while the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha has also taken a stance of foiling the opposition party’s campaign in parts of Province 2.

The Morcha has decided to disrupt the Janakpur event of the second largest party’s Mechi-Mahakali campaign, charging that the UML has entered Madhes in a way to “create conflict among the people”. The alliance of Madhes-based parties has announced bandas in places where the UML has announced to organise mass meetings. They have also been attacking local UML leaders.

The party has decided to shift the venue of a rally slated to be addressed by Chairman KP Sharma Oli at Raj Rangashala of Rajbiraj to the Maleth-based Gajendra Narayan Singh Industrial Area, three kilometres away.

According to UML Saptari district Chair Govinda Neupane, the district committee of the party was preparing to change the venue for Monday’s mass meeting, as authorised by the central leadership to manage the functions in the district.

Morcha cadres have been demonstrating near the programme venue with an aim to disrupt the UML’s rally. They burned tyres and led a motorcycle rally on Sunday morning. 

The government has beefed up security around the venue and the UML office and the houses of local leaders.

On the eve of launching the east-west campaign, Nepal Police DIG Ramesh Bhattarai and Armed Police Force DIG Janaki Bhattarai on Friday took stock of the scenario and held a meeting to assess 

the security situation in the district. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has urged the Madhesi Morcha not to obstruct the UML’s campaign. 

“Functions of the political parties must not be disturbed. The government is serious about preventing any untoward incident,” the PM told reporters at Biratnagar Airport.

Commenting on the Morcha’s warning, senior CPN (Maoist Centre) leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said his party differed with the UML on Madhes issues and constitution amendment but it opposed any undemocratic act to disturb peaceful programmes organised by the main opposition.

“Every party is free to conduct its activities peacefully. Then why not UML? Whoever tries to disturb is wrong. This must be stopped,” Shrestha tweeted.

The National Human Rights Commission has also urged the Morcha not to disturb the UML’s peaceful programmes scheduled earlier. Issuing a statement on Sunday, the rights watchdog said the attacks intended to disturb the campaign violate human rights. The commission said its attention was drawn to the manhandling of UML cadres in Saptari district by the Morcha cadres on Friday. Some UML supporters were injured in the clash.

“Such incidents are against democratic values while it is the people’s democratic right to voice dissent peacefully,” the NHRC stated.

Published: 06-03-2017 07:43

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