The Joint Struggle Committee comprising organisations representing Bahuns, Khas Chhetris, Thakuris, and Dalits continued their protests against ethnicity and identity-based federalism for the second day on Friday, paralysing daily life in different parts of the country including capital Kathmandu.
The two-day bandh was enforced by Chhetri Samaj, Brahman Samaj, Thakuri Samaj, Dalit Janajagaran Sewa, Dashnami Samaj, Khas Chhetri Ekata Samaj, among otherd, protesting against plans to federate the country along ethnic lines and demanding that Brahmin and Khas communities of the country be granted janjati (indigenous) status.
Vehicular movement has come to a grinding halt in Kathmandu including major towns like Pokhara, Biratnagar and Birgunj as both short and long route buses and other public and private vehicles stayed off the roads due to fear of attacks while shops and businesses in the market, industries remained mostly closed. Schools and colleges also remained shut today.
There are reports of skirmishes and arson from some parts of Kathmandu as Bandh organisers staged demonstration and enforced the strike. Reports say a taxi has been set ablaze and few motorcycles smashed for defying the bandh in some parts of Kathmandu. On Thursday, the first day of the strike, the Bandh supporters also manhandled few journalists while they were covering the strike.
Meanwhile, large number of riot police has been mobilized in many parts of Kathmandu and other major towns across the country to maintain law and order.
Similarly, life in far-west region has become more difficult as the bandh enforced demanding "Undivided Far West" entered 14th day.
The continuous bandh has caused acute shortage of food stuffs and other essential commodities in the market while hospital and medical facilities face closure due to lack of medicine.
The region has been witnessing mass protests almost on a daily basis.
In another report, an alliance of Tharus, Muslims and Madhesi dalits has announced a series of protests throughout the country for an autonomous Tharuhat province.
In Tikapur, protesters cut off power supply to the Mid Western region on Thurday to step up pressure on the government to fulfill their demand for an undivided "far west". nepalnews.com