44th Day Situation Update

Banda – 44th day, Border blockade by Madhesi front – Fifth day

Leaders and cadres of the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) have continued with their blockade at the Indo-Nepal border checkpoints in different districts of the Tarai region for the fifth consecutive day on Monday.

Due to the blockade, imports from India and other countries have been obstructed for the last five days, causing shortage of supplies including petroleum products in different parts of the country.
After 39 days of mass protests on the streets, they have resorted to stage sit-ins at the border areas to block the imports since Thursday.

All the imports have been blocked at border checkpoints of Biratnagar-Jogbani, Gaur-Bairginiya, Jaleshwar-Bhittamod and Birgunj-Raxaul.According to the customs offices in Jogbani and Raxaul of India, transportation agents and drivers have stopped transporting the goods to Nepal citing security reasons due to the protests.

Upendra Yadav, chief of Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN), led Monday’s sit-in at Biratnagar-Jogbani border checkpoint.

In Sarlahi, leaders and cadres of the agitating UDMF staged sit-ins, blocking the imports from 11 different points including Malangawa, the major entry point of the district.

In Rautahat, the Indo-Nepal border at Gaur, district headquarters of Rautahat, has also been blocked due to the ongoing sit-in organized by leaders of UDMF, Federal Madhesi Front and Rastriya Muslim Gathbandhan.

In Dhanusha, agitating UDMF cadres and leaders also obstructed the border at Jatahi and Bharariya. The cadres have intensified their protest with 24-hour blockade.

In Mahottari, agitating leaders of Madhesi front have obstructed the imports from India via Bhitamod, Matihani and Samsi along the Indo-Nepal border. They have constructed tents in the border areas to impose the blockade.

Police, locals chase away protestors at Belhiya, Rupandehi

However, the obstruction at Indo-Nepal border point of Belhiya, Rupandehi has been removed after the police and locals of Belhiya chased away the cadres of the agitating UDMF.

Among 50 trucks stranded on Indian territory, some loaded with fruits and vegetables entered Nepal on Monday, according to Rupandehi customs office. Three LPG bullets and one petroleum tanker also entered via Belhiya.

In normal days, around 500 vehicles laden with imports from India enter Nepal on a daily basis. The customs offices are bearing a loss of Rs 90 million a day due to the blockade.

India also tightens border in western Tarai

After Indian depots reportedly stopped supplying petroleum products to Nepal, no tankers have been sent to India from Nepal, according to Sharad Paudel, chief of Nepal Oil Cooperation’s regional office in Dhangadhi.

“There is acute shortage of petroleum products in western region following the blockade,” said Paudel.

Meanwhile, Mohan Chapagain, Chief District Officer (CDO) of Kailali district informed that the import of petroleum products has not been allowed in usual quantity, which has created shortage of supplies.

However, Shivanath, an Indian custom official said, “We have not stopped the imports. But the Indian drivers fear for their safety to transport the supplies to Nepal.”

Source: Republica

VP Jha support Madhes Andolan

Issuing a statement on Monday, Vice-President Paramananda Jha urged the political parties to amend the new constitution to address the demands of the agitating Madhesi/Tharu community through meaningful dialogue.