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Indra Dhoj Kshetri

HIKE

Fuelling the fire in Terai

Continued Communal unrest in southern Terai may be a serious indication that how the reactionary forces can fish in the troubled water. Few months back, Nepal’s pro-King and honorary ADC to King Gyanendra Bharat Keshar Singh held a meeting with Indian Hindu Fundas at Gorakhpur. They collectively resolved to launch protests with communal slogans and work for upholding Nepal as HINDU KINGDOM. Immediately, the prelude was observed in western city of Nepalgunj during strike called by Nepal …

Sadvabana Party (Anandidevi). The Party had admitted that unwanted and anarchist mob had infiltrated in the protests organized there. The catastrophe is undergoing in eastern Terai cities since last ten days. As many as a dozen people have been killed in clashes with the police and the unrest seems to complicate more and prolong. What will be the denouement?

Amidst such increasing unrest, one of the constituent of seven Party Alliance Nepal Sadvabana Party (Anandidevi) has withdrawn itself from the government and resolved to join the protests there. Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Hridayesh Tripathy has resigned from the post. With the resignation, the row between the government and the agitating parties in Terai seems to increase. And the situation in Terai is supposed to turn worse in a few days to come.

Doubtless to say, the situation is turning worse in Terai region. It began with the strike in Terai called by Madheshi Janaadhikar Forum (MJF). Till those days, the protest has run from the grip of the Forum itself. The Forum leaders have admitted that some unruly and anarchist mob has entered the protests, attempting to make the protests as violent as they could. The situation has turned worse when the protest are supported and actively participated in by the armed groups like two factions of Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM) which are fighting for “liberation of Terai as an independent state”.

The Terai region shares open border with Indian states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh which are also the poorest states in India. In comparison to the life in those states, life in Nepal’s terai plain is easier. Hence, there have been frequent attempts to acquire Nepali citizenship and settle here by the Indian nationals from those states. Besides, there are some group i.e. Maoists and Naxalites fighting for the liberation of those Indian states as well. Disgusted with the entry of Nepal’s Maoists into mainstream, those forces seem to have been fuelling the violent movement in terai region.

Certainly, such unrests in the small country like Nepal are very serious. They are more serious when they occur during the transition phase as Nepal is undergoing. Whatever their rhetoric, the JTMM factions also don’t seem to fight till the liberation of Terai. Their activities in the past were observed as more criminal than political. Hence, they are less likely to have popular support even from the people of Terai.

However, the demands of other agitating parties e.g. Madheshi Janaadhikar Forum (MJF) including Nepal Sadvabana Party (Anandidevi) are genuine. Their demands for a federal System, proportional election system and delimitation of electoral constituencies based on population are genuine. The former two are also the demands of many of the indigenous communities in the country. Besides, the latter also can’t be challenged rationally.

Whatsoever the demands and whoever agitating, the communal fire on Terai has to be immediately controlled. The genuine demands have to be addressed immediately. And the government has to furnish solution acceptable to agitating forces as well as all the people of the country. Then only, the reactionary forces, or Hindu Fundas or the separatist forces in India will find little space to play here. Otherwise, Nepal’s transition will prove very painful for the people and devastating for the nation.