Curfew clamped in Nepal’s Tarai after two killed

Kathmandu, Nov 22 (IANS) After two people were killed on Saturday midnight in a clash with police, curfew was clamped on some parts of Nepal’s Tarai region already witnessing protests for 100 days.

They were killed in police action in Saptari district, a major hub for agitating Madeshi Morcha cadres who were obstructing vehicles escorted by security agencies along the east-west highway.

Saptari district Superintendent of Police Bhim Dhakal said they were compelled to open fire after about 2,000 agitating Madhesi Morcha activists launched an attack on police and escorted vehicles with homemade weapons.

“They started hurling petrol bombs and attacking with home-made weapons. In retaliation, the police were forced to use bullets,” the official said about the incident in which two dozen people were injured.

The injured included five protesters and two policemen who were said to be in a critical condition.

Local administration has created “restricted zones” in several parts of Terai districts and along the highway in view of the violent protest in Saptari district, considered a major hub of ongoing protest in Nepal southern plains.

According to reports from Saptari district, hundreds of people have assembled on the streets, protesting the death of the two people in police firing.

Thousands of commuters are stranded on the East-West Highway, a major highway in Nepal that links east and west regions of Nepal through the southern plains.

Several rounds of talks have been held between the agitating Madhesh Morcha and the government to seek political solution for the Madhes people’s demand for “adequate” statutory representation. The region has been witnessing demonstrations and protests for the past three months, leading to severe shortages of fuel, drugs and other medicines. However, the talks have failed.

Protests and demonstrations in Nepal’s southern plains have left 50 people dead and hundreds injured in three months.

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