Violent protests have erupted in some parts of the country over boundaries of federal provinces.
The mid-western and the far-western regions, and some parts of the Tarai, are particularly tense due to violent protests by various communities and political groups.
A protester, identified as 45-year-old Tika Ram Gautam, has died in Surkhet district apparently after being shot at by police. Four more protestors have been injured. Protestors claim police opened fire at their peaceful rally, but police say they had to open fire after being attacked by protestors during a curfew.
Surkhet’s Superintendent of Police Rajesh Kumar Lal Karna told Nepali Times that they opened fire after protestors pelted stones and bricks at them defying curfew.
The local administration has imposed a curfew in Surkhet from 1 pm to 9 pm to control situation. Tension flared in Surkhet after protestors ransacked the house of Nepali Congress (NC) leader Purna Bahadur Khadka. The locals of Surkhet are up in arms against division of the mid-western region. They have also refused to live in a province that includes Karnali, arguably the most backward region.
The locals of Karnali have also refused to be part of the province that includes Surkhet and other districts of the mid-western region. They have demanded a separate Karnali province.
The locals of Mugu have closed down airport and Gamgadhi market demanding an undivided Karnali province. Protest rallies have been held in Jumla as well. The locals of Jumla have also set a government vehicle ablaze.
In Rukum, the locals have vandalized the house of UCPN (M) lawmakers Janardan Sharma and Mithu Malla. They have opposed to division of Rukum into two provinces.
In Kailali and Kanchanpur, the Tharus have held protest rallies and are preparing to announce more protest programs. They have demanded that Kailali and Kanchanpur be part of the Tharuhat province.
In Madhes, some pro-Hindu groups have burnt tyres and obstructed roads demanding restoration of a Hindu nation. But the Madhesi parties conspicuously absent on the streets.
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