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Violence in Nepal over draft Constitution claims 4 lives


Violence in Nepal continued unabated today with at least four people, including a 13-year -old boy, killed in clashes between protesters and security forces as the Madhesi stir against the proposed Constitution raged despite Prime Minister’s appeal for dialogue.

Two agitators were killed in Janakpur, Dhanusha district, as hundreds of cadres and supporters of the United Democratic Madhesi Front took to the streets defying a curfew order.

A 13-year-old boy was killed during curfew hours also in Janakpur during the ongoing agitation.

The boy named Dilip Yadav had defied the curfew as he met with his friends behind a temple. As the police opened fire, his other friends escaped but he was hit by a bullet.

In a separate incident an injured policeman, who was being taken to hospital, was killed after agitators dragged him out of the ambulance in Jaleshwor Municipality.

The deaths have taken the total number of those killed in protests over the proposed Constitution to 37 in a month.

Violent clashes were also reported from various parts of southern Nepal.

Top leaders of the three major parties — Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and the UCPN-Maoist — have decided to postpone the Constituent Assembly meeting till Sunday.

Rameshwor Ray Yadav, senior vice president of the Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum Democratic, welcomed the move but called on the government to create a conducive atmosphere for talks by withdrawing security forces and restoring peace in the southern plains.

“How can we sit for talks when the police continued action in the Terai region. Both the parties should help in normalising the situation before sitting for a dialogue,” he told PTI.

Meanwhile, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae today met CPN-UML chairman K P Oli and suggested that the political parties should move forward through collaboration and find a solution to the current crisis.

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala yesterday had made a fresh appeal to Madhesi parties to end the violent street protests and engage in dialogue.

Southern Nepal has witnessed turmoil since lawmakers from major political parties struck a breakthrough deal on August 15 to divide the country into seven provinces.

The Madhesi parties, disgruntled over the proposal, say the new charter ignores their interests. In protest, the Joint Madhesi Front has enforced a general strike in the plains for the past few weeks and most of the schools, colleges, markets have remained shut, hitting the country’s economy hard.

They demand the seven-provinces model be scrapped and they be given more representation and rights in the new charter.

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