Nepal constitution protests claim over 40 lives

Nepalese Home Ministry says there are more than 40 dead people in demonstrations against new constitution

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Nepalese men, mostly from the Madhesi community, protest against the new constitution outside the Nepalese embassy in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015

Protests against Nepal’s new constitution are abating, after over 40 people died in weeks of violence, officials said on Tuesday.

Last Sunday, Nepal officially adopted its first ‘secular and democratic’ constitution, which took more than seven years to complete amid years of political and civil unrest.

The controversial document, declares the Hindu majority nation as a secular federation divided into seven states, each with a law-making body and a chief minister. President, Ram Baran Yadav has signed the charter and made the proclamation announcement to the members of the constituent assembly in the capital Kathmandu.

Home Ministry spokesman, Laxmi Prasad Dhakal has made a statement about the protests.

"The situation is improving and the continuing protests are smaller." he said.

The violence has also affected the neighbouring India, which has called on its ambassador to report on the situation on Monday.

"We are deeply concerned over the incidents of violence resulting in death and injury in regions of Nepal bordering India. The issues facing Nepal are political in nature and cannot be resolved through force." the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

A boy carries the national flag of Nepal during a protest in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. (AP)

There are more than a hundred ethnic groups in Nepal and some believe the new constitution does not represent them. Although members of parliament are to be selected with a proportional representation vote, the minority groups say they want to hold more seats. They also demand larger territory for bigger groups and more states, especially ethnically based ones.

"We will continue our protests until the major parties fulfill our demands," said Abhisek Pratap Sah, who wants provinces carved out for its members in the southern plains of Nepal.


TRTWorld and agencies