Saptari locals terrified as UML-UDMF clash looms

Published On: March 6, 2017 08:38 AM NPT By: Jitendra Kumar Jha

RAJBIRAJ, March 5: As the local election nears, incidents of aggression between the pro-election UML and the opposing UDMF are increasing of late. The standoff between UML and the Madhesi alliance has locals in Saptari worried that they will see such clashes in their district also.

On one side of main road  Pokhrel Tole in Rajbiraj-4, the Federal Socialist Forum Nepal, one of the big constituents of the UDMF, has its office. The locality is also home to UDMF district coordinator Dinesh Yadav. A thick presence of UDMF cadres can be observed there.

On the other side of the road is a house belonging to UML central member Suman Raj Pyakurel, who is considered the party’s main district leader. Anticipating potential clashes, District Administration Office (DAO)  Saptari has deployed a large number of security personnel around his house.

At a time when UDMF seems hell-bent on  interrupting the functions of UML Chairman KP Oli, locals see the security presence  around the UML leader’s house as a worrying sign. The areas remain tense and they are afraid  clashes could break out any time. 

“Hundreds of UMDF cadres organize  protests from this area every day. They shout  slogans against the UML. And as the house of the UML leader is nearby, chances of confrontation any time are high,” said Santa Kumar Das,  who lives near the tense area.

“We live in fear  that something bad will happen,” he said, adding he has prohibited his children from playing outside the house.

Another local, Govind Sah, said the situation has remained tense as the locality is home to  UML leader Pyakurel and UMDF district coordinator Yadav, who despise each other.
Not just Pokhrel Tole in Rajbiraj, fear of potential clashes has gripped other localities of the district as well, including Bhardaha, Hanuman Nagar, Kanchanpur, Rupnagar, Mahuli and Rupani.

Along with  district headquarters Rajbiraj, UMDF cadres in large numbers are on the move  throughout the district to foil UML’s programs. Armed with batons and black flags, they drive in vans  around the business localities and inner rural areas, raising offensive chants against UML. On Sunday alone,  UMDF cadres organized  rallies in Bhardaha and Rajbiraj. Over 1,000 cadres participated in both rallies, said UDMF district coordinator Yadav. Such rallies have  continued for three days in a row.

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