The “Nepal bandh” (shutdown strike) enforced by the Joint Struggle Committee (which comprises organisations representing Bahun, Chhetris and Dalits) once again has adversely affected normal life across the country on Thursday.
The Struggle Committee formed by Brahman Samaj, Khas Chhetri Samaj, Thakuri Samaj, Dalit Janajagaran Sangh, Dashnami Samaj and Federation of Marginalised Group called the strike to protect “national integrity”, promote communal harmony and protest against ethnicity-based federalism. It had enforced similar two-day nationwide bandh on May 10th.
The Committee also wants the government recognise Dalits, Chhetris, Thakuris, Dashnamis and Brahmins (Bahuns) and other caste groups as Adivasi Janjatis (indigenous nationalities)and provide them all the facilities and reservations enjoyed by the latter group.
The Committee said that it was forced to call Nepal Bandh again due to government’s apathy towards addressing their demands despite repeated assurances.
Shops and businesses in the markets, industries and educational institutions remained shut in Kathmandu due to the strike as protesters stage rallies and demonstration at major thoroughfares and streets.
However, essential services like ambulances and press vehicles were allowed to ply on the road, which wears a deserted look due to lack of public transportation. Similarly, students travelling on bikes to sit for their annual exams were also not stopped.
However, many private vehicles like cars and motorcycles and some taxis were seen defying the strike today, but in some parts they were warned by the protestors, told to turn back or on some extreme cases, protestors set ablaze few taxis for defying the bandh.
A 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.
Many parts of the country has been reeling under almost daily bandh and strikes since the past few weeks, creating shortage of essential commodities like food provisions and medicines in many places. nepalnews.com