Nepal violence: PM Modi calls up Koirala, expresses concern over ‘instability’https://indianexpress.com/article/world/neighbours/nepal-violence-pm-narendra-modi-calls-up-sushil-koirala-expresses-concern-over-instability/

Nepal violence: PM Modi calls up Koirala, expresses concern over ‘instability’

At least 11 people including 7 policemen were killed and more than 100 injured in a violent clash on Monday in western Nepal’s Kailali district between security personnel and protesters demanding a separate Tharuhat province.

Nepalese protesters hit a policeman with a torch during a rally in Kathmandu, Nepal, Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015. Supporters of small opposition parties protested to oppose the constitution drafting process. (Source: AP photo/file)
Nepalese protesters hit a policeman with a torch during a rally in Kathmandu, Nepal, Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015. Supporters of small opposition parties protested to oppose the constitution drafting process. (Source: AP photo/file)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday expressed concern over the “political and social instability” in Nepal and asked the political leadership in Kathmandu to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue among all stakeholders through widest possible consultations.

Modi, who called up Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, also expressed sorrow at the loss of lives in the violence in Nepal and extended his condolences to the families of the deceased and the people of Nepal.

At least 11 people including 7 policemen were killed and more than 100 injured in a violent clash on Monday in western Nepal’s Kailali district between security personnel and protesters demanding a separate Tharuhat province.

“Prime Minister Modi expressed concern that political and social instability would seriously compound the tragedy caused by the recent earthquake in Nepal. He called for exercise of restraint and restoration of peace and order,” a PMO release said.

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He also appealed to the government, all political parties and the people of Nepal to eschew violence and maintain social harmony and conveyed that, as a neighbour, India would do all it can for security in Nepal.

Modi reiterated that the political leadership of Nepal should resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue between all political parties and through the process of widest possible consultation, including with the public, so as to strengthen the climate of trust and confidence across and between all sections of society.

And in this regard “arrive at solutions that reflect the will and accommodate the aspirations of all citizens of a richly diverse society within a united, peaceful, stable and prosperous Nepal,” the Prime Minister said.

Lauding the historic progress that Nepal had made in the peace process and drafting its Constitution, Modi assured Koirala that India’s one and only desire was to see the emergence of a peaceful, secure, stable, democratic and prosperous Nepal, which draws strength from its rich social diversity, enormous resources and extraordinary talent.

“India, he reiterated, will continue to provide all support to Nepal, in accordance with the wishes and priorities of the people of Nepal, to achieve that goal,” the release said.

Nepal has seen several protests in recent weeks against a new draft constitution being discussed by the Constituent Assembly but the unrest took an ugly turn on Monday with at least seven police officers, 2-year-old son of a police officer, and three protesters killed by agitators.

The protesters are against dividing the country in seven provinces with minority ethnic groups arguing that the new Constitution would discriminate against them and give them insufficient autonomy.

The police had earlier said eight security personnel were killed in the violence on Monday but later revised the toll to 7.

A new national Constitution presented in the Constituent Assembly, the national parliament, aims to restructure Nepal as a federal state made up of seven provinces.

Demonstrators have been protesting against the draft charter, saying the proposed provinces fail to ensure political representation for marginalised communities. PTI