Nepal UML workers hurt; 70 held during Constitution bill stir

CPN-UML activists clashed with police, protesting against the Constitution amendment bill to meet the demands of Madhesis and other ethnic groups.

By: PTI | Kathmandu | Published: December 8, 2016 11:26 am

At least 21 activists of Nepal’s main opposition CPN-UML have been injured in clashes with police and 70 party workers arrested during a protest against the Constitution amendment bill. The clashes took place Wednesday in Kailali district between police and the CPN-UML party members who were protesting against the bill which is aimed at carving out a new province to meet the demands of agitating Madhesis and other ethnic groups.

At least 21 people were injured in clashes with police and 70 arrested.

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The opposition parties have been protesting against the bill after the coalition government led by Prime Minister Prachanda registered a motion last week to amend the Constitution to accommodate some of the key demands of the Madhesi parties and other ethnic groups, including citizenship issue and delineation of provincial boundary. Meanwhile, CPN-UML issued a statement, asking the government to immediately release its party workers arrested during the demonstration.

Nepal opposition parties, UML, CPN-ML, Rastriya Janamorcha and Nepal Workers Peasants Party yesterday obstructed the parliament proceedings against the Constitution amendment proposal. Nepal has been facing political crisis since the adoption of a new Constitution in September last year that divides the country into seven provinces. The agitating Madhesi parties want the hilly districts not to be mixed with the plains while demarcating the provincial boundaries. The Constitution promulgated last year could not be implemented due to the agitation by the Madhesis, mostly Indian-origin. The Madhesi Front last week refused to back the Constitution amendment bill, saying it was not acceptable inits current discriminatory form.

The United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) and the Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal (FSF-N) stated that they cannot accept the Constitution amendment bill which has been registered in Parliament by Nepal’s government despite opposition.

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