Protester shot dead in Nepal

Nepal Police kill one demonstrator protesting against proposed new constitution

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Nepal Police arrest charter protestors

Nepalese police opened fire on a group of demonstrators opposing the new constitution in Southern Nepal on Tuesday, killing one and wounding many others.

National police spokesman Kamal Singh Bam reported that the conflicts  broke out in the southeastern district of Saptari when demonstrators tried to block a national highway, threw petrol bombs and stones at security forces, attacked their vehicles and vandalised a local police station.

Bam also stated ‘’One person was killed and five were injured after police were forced to fire to control the violent mob,"

The demonstrators were protesting a government-proposed article which would be added to the constitution and would restructure Nepal as a federal state with six provinces.

Nepal has been governed under a temporal constitution since 2008.

Work on a new national constitution began in 2008 after a decade-long Maoist revolt that led to the death of 16,000 people and overthrew the 240-year-old Hindu monarchy.

A new constitution was supposed to be written by Constituent Assembly elected in 2008, but neither it, nor another assembly elected in 2012 finished the task due to the discordance between political parties.

Nepal's conflicting parties had a breakthrough deal earlier this month to redraw the country's internal borders and to draft a new constitution, which is about to be finalized.

However, Regional parties representing the Madhesi ethnic minority who live in the area called for protests against the new decision on Tuesday, saying the proposed borders would discriminate against historically marginalised communities.

They say new borders will give limited representation to these marginalised people such as the Madhesis.

Pampha Bhusal, spokeswoman of CPN-Maoist party, said "State reconstruction in the draft is far from the aspirations of the people’’,  "it does not ensure political participation of marginalised groups in the state bodies."

This week, there have been number of nationwide protests against the proposals. 

Two people were shot dead last week in the country's Midwest and Nepalese police arrested more than a hundred protesters in Kathmandu on Sunday.

Schools and businesses were forced to close and roads were practically empty because of the strike which took hold across Southern Nepal.

District Chief Birendra Kumar Yadav reported, authorities had imposed a curfew in the region until Wednesday morning.

In the meantime, tourism operators urged an end to the strike, warning such protests would only hurt the industry already faltering from April's devastating earthquake that took more than 8,800 lives and claimed that "This culture of strikes will hamper the tourism sector not just immediately but also in the future,"


TRTWorld and agencies