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Army mobilized around Nepal town hit by deadly protests

Army has been mobilized in areas surrounding Nepal’s Tikapur town on Tuesday, a day after violent clashes between protesters and security forces claimed eight lives.

world Updated: Aug 26, 2015 00:00 IST
Utpal Parashar
Nepal protests

Nepalese police personnel detain a protester (C) during a general strike organized by the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) demanding autonomous regions based on ethnicity to be drafted into the new constitution in Kathmandu. At least six policemen were killed in protests over the Constitution (REUTERS Photo)

Army has been mobilized in areas surrounding Nepal’s Tikapur town on Tuesday, a day after violent clashes between protesters and security forces claimed eight lives.

Kailali district authorities took the decision after declaring nine village development committees (VDCs) and one municipality as riot zones.

Eight persons including seven policemen and a 2-year-old were killed when thousands of protesters armed with sickles, axes, spears and knives attacked a police picket in Tikapur in far-western Nepal.

The incident took place after police fired tear gas shells and several rounds in air to disperse the mob which had broken prohibitory orders. The protesters were demanding a separate state for the marginalized Tharu community.

HT had earlier reported that nine people had been killed based on statements given by district, home ministry and police officials.

Violence was witnessed in Tikapur on Tuesday too when over two dozen protesters broke curfew orders and set a house belonging to a local lawmaker, a resort and two shops on fire.

Nepal government recalled Kailali’s chief administrative officer and regional chiefs of police and security forces on Tuesday for failing to anticipate and prevent the incident.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called his Nepal counterpart Sushil Koirala and expressed his condolences. He urged all stakeholders to maintain harmony and address issues through talks.

Unhappy with demarcation of new federal states in the country’s constitution, protests, some of them violent, have been taking place for two weeks in Madhes, far-western and mid-western regions.

Nepal’s major political parties had first decided to divide the country’s 75 districts into eight states. They later changed their decision to six states and again to seven states following protests.

Leaders of three major parties decided on Tuesday that despite violent protests and clashes, the constitution drafting process would continue. The final draft of the constitution was handed over to the constituent assembly on Sunday.