Riot police were deployed at Meena Bazaar in Birgunj after the local vegetable vendors clashed with the banda enforcers of the Madhesi parties on Wednesday.
· Normal life paralyzed in various Tarai-Madhes districts
· UDMF protestors hit the streets from early morning to enforce bandh
· Bandh enforcers clash with vegetable entrepreneurs in Birgunj
· Arson at Mithila Tourist Promotion Development Committee
KATHMANDU, March 9: Locals of various districts in the tarai continued their demonstrations on Wednesday to condemn the police shootings in Maleth, Saptari that has so far claimed four lives.
On Monday, three people were killed and about two dozen others injuries in clashes between security personnel and cadres of the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) who were attempting to foil a peaceful mass meeting of the CPN-UML. One more person succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday, taking the death toll to four.
Protests and tensions continued for a second day in Itahari, Parsa, Mahottari, Udayapur, Dhanusa, Siraha, Sarlahi and in Saptari itself in the wake of the incident in Maleth VDC. Following the incident, UDMF had called a two-day Tarai-Madhes bandh. The tarai districts remained completely paralyzed throughout the day.
In Birgunj, the second day of the bandh saw UDMF cadres clashing with vegetable entrepreneurs defying the bandh. The clash took place at around 11 am at Meena Bazaar after UDMF cadres tried to force locals to shut their shops. The vegetable entrepreneurs retaliated against the bandh enforcers.
“We mobilized more police following the incident. The situation then returned to normal and no injuries have been reported,” informed Superintendent of Police (SP) Govinda Kumar Sah of District Police Office (DPO), Parsa.
Protesters set fire to the Pidari Chowk-based office of the Mithila Tourist Promotion Development Committee in the evening. A petrol bomb was hurled at the office, damaging furniture and some documents, according to police. However, the UDMF has claimed that their cadres were not involved in the incident.
Marketplaces in various parts of the district wore a deserted look throughout the day and transportation was paralyzed. The bandh also affected schools and industrial enterprises.
Roads and highways in Itahari remained empty as long and short haul vehicles did not operate on the second day of the bandh also. UDMF cadres organized a mass rally at district headquarters Inaruwa. It was later converted into a corner meeting at Bus Park.
The main marketplaces, educational institutes, industrial areas and public transport remained closed throughout Mahottari district as well, in apparent response to the Madhes bandh. UDMF cadres were involved in burning tires in various places, but mainly at district headquarters Jaleshwar.
(Republica correspondents Suresh Yadav from Janakpur, Mahesh Kumar Das from Mahottari, Ritesh Tripathi from Birgunj, and Amar Khadka from Itahari contributed to the report)