Strike over new constitution in Nepal, over 100 arrested

  • Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
  • Updated: Aug 17, 2015 01:19 IST
Protesters chant slogans as they march on a road during a general strike organised by a 30-party alliance led by a hardline faction of former Maoist rebels, who are protesting against the draft of the new constitution, in Kathmandu. (Reuters Photo)

Normal life in several parts of Nepal was affected and over 100 people were arrested on Sunday during a strike called to protest against provisions in the country’s new constitution.

The two-day strike called by a Maoist faction, some Madhesi parties and indigenous groups is against the decision by four major parties to divide the country into six federal states and demarcation of its boundaries.

Few vehicles operated on the streets in Kathmandu where protesters vandalized two vehicles in the morning. Three vehicles were damaged in Chitwan district.

In Jumla district in mid-western Nepal, police fired over two dozen blank shots to disperse protesters who were demanding an autonomous Karnali state. A dozen protesters were injured in police baton charge.

Several parts of Nepal have been witnessing violent protests and strikes for over a week now following signing of an agreement by four major parties agreeing to create a six-state model in the new statute.

Most of these protests are against the boundaries demarcated by the parties. Some parties and groups are seeking naming of Nepal as a Hindu state and others demanding equal rights for women in all spheres.

Nepal’s constitution drafting process, which began in 2008, is nearing conclusion and the new statute is expected to be promulgated by the end of this month.

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