(Left) A notice requesting both pedestrians and people using vehicles at the Nepal-India border at Birgunj to proceed on foot through a designated channel. (R) Youths chanting slogans against the administration to protest the new rule Wednesday.
BIRGUNJ, Dec 20: A new rule has come into effect from Wednesday onward requiring people to walk on foot in designated places while crossing the Nepal-India border in Brigunj. The notice was put up on Tuesday at the Birgunj Customs Office in Birgunj Municipality-16.
However, the decision has drawn widespread criticism among the public and on the social media. Not just on online platforms, local youths took to the streets on Wednesday protesting against the rule they called draconian. The protest started from 1 pm causing a tense situation around the area.
“We had hoped that development would follow after implementation of federalism. But now, it’s evident that we are instead heading backward,” said Tabej Ahmad, a district-level leader of the Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN), who also participated in the protest.
According to him, their main concern is that the major trading point is being turned into a ‘line of control’. “This is unacceptable,” said Ahmad.
FSFN lawmaker Pradeep Yadav threatened to ratchet up protests if the new ‘draconian rule’ is not scrapped immediately.
However, Chief Administrator Shyam Prasad Bhandari of the Birgunj Customs Office defended the move stating that the rule was introduced to better manage the people’s movement at the border.