DHANGADHI, May 2: Dhangadhi remained tense on Wednesday with the Tharu Joint Struggle Committee (TJSC) launching a counter protest against the indefinite strike for undivided far west that has crippled normal life in the region for the past six days.
While those advocating for an undivided far west protested in the morning and evening, the TJSC staged demonstrations in the afternoon. The participants of the TJSC rally with significant presence of women shouted slogans against undivided far west.
A 75-man Civil Movement Mobilization Committee was formed under Gopal Deuba on Wednesday. Deuba stated that the indefinite strike would continue till an undivided far west is assured in the new constitution. Secretary of Tharu Kalyankari Sabha, Kailali Madhav Chaudhary, on the other hand, vowed to pay any price to keep Kailali and Kanchanpur districts in Thuaruhat state due to historical significance of the districts regarding Tharu identity.
TJSC organized a torch rally Tuesday evening and demonstrated Wednesday afternoon. Red Cross people were mobilized throughout the day with medicines. Chief District Officer (CDO) of Kailali Kailash Kumar Bajimaya expressed fear saying the movement was headed for confrontation.
Dozen vehicles vandalized
Around a dozen vehicles were vandalized as agitators demanding undivided far west demonstrated throughout Tuesday night in Attariya of Kailali and Silgadhi, Doti. They remained in the streets till four in the morning armed with sticks and vandalized eight vehicles in Attariya. Demonstrators turned violent after one Bhoj Raj Bhatta was arrested by Area Police Office, Malakheti. Police were forced to release Bhatta after an hour. Likewise two vehicles were vandalized in Silgadi, Doti.
Scarcity of food and medicines
Hilly districts in far west are facing acute shortage of food and medicines due to the indefinite strike. The districts like Bajura, Achham and Doti are facing shortage of essential goods in lack of supply from Dhangadi and Mahendranagar over the past week.
The stock of traders in regional headquarters Dipayal is also rapidly depleting in lack of supply from Tarai districts. “We are mulling closure of our hotels in lack of food materials,” owner of Prakash Hotel Lal Bahadur Manni said.
Meanwhile stranded passengers demonstrated in front of District Administration Office, Kanchanpur against the indefinite strike reports our Mahendranagar correspondent Bikram Giri.
Over 50 stranded persons demonstrated in front of the district administration office. “I have been paying Rs 750 for accommodation in hotel and I have nearly spent Rs 20,000 that I had brought from India,” Jank Rawal of Majhi-2, Bajhang, who had come to Mahendranagar five days ago from Lohaghat, India, said. “We support an undivided far west but not this crippling banda,” Rawal added.