Dejected with injustice for 239 years, the Madheshis on Monday threatened to secede from Nepal and establish the Himalayan nation’s Terai region as a new country.
The Madheshis are Bhojpuri and Maithili-speaking people of Nepal’s Terai region.
Upendra Yadav, the convener of Unified Madheshi Front, said if the Girija Prasad Koirala-led government continued to suppress their demands, they will be left with no option but to get out of Nepal. “We are proud to identify ourselves as Nepalis, but the government and the people in the hills never treat us as equals,” he said.
Yadav said they would expect the government to respect their demand for an autonomous state. “We are tired of the discrimination, and we would like to govern ourselves now,” he said, adding, “ But if the government does not respect our demands, we will be forced to divide the Terai region from Nepal.” Madheshis are also opposed to merging with India, even though socio-culturally, they are very close to the people of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Yadav alleged that Koirala, instead of resolving their grievances, is using force to suppress them. The government raised a Special Task Force (STF) recently to crush the uprising in Terai.
During the past two years, there has been a mushrooming of insurgent outfits in Nepal’s southern Terai districts. They are fighting for preservation of the rights of Madheshis.
“The STF has unleashed a reign of terror in Terai,” Rajendra Mahato, former industries minister and senior leader of Nepal Sadbhawana Party, said, adding that human rights of the poor are being violated.