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Curfews imposed amid violent protests in southern Nepal

Curfews imposed amid violent protests in southern Nepal

Southern Nepal was tense Friday as authorities imposed curfews to curb violent, escalating demonstrations by residents who say the government has neglected their region's development and rights.
A daytime curfew has been imposed in four major southern towns _ Birgunj, Biratnagar, Janakpur and Lahan _ a Home Ministry statement said Friday.
The situation was especially tense Friday in Janakpur, 200 kilometers (125 miles) southeast of the capital, Katmandu.
Hundreds of protesters have poured into the streets there, defying the curfew _ but police had not opened fire on them as of Friday, said the town's chief government administrator, Madhav Regmi.
Several dozen people were injured in Janakpur on Thursday, when police scuffled with protesters who took to the streets wielding bamboo sticks and spears. Police fired on them, wounding a few, but no deaths were reported.
The trouble in southern Nepal began last week, when protests in Lahan ended with one person being killed. Four more died in violent demonstrations there earlier this week.
The protests have spread to other parts of the south, where daily life has been crippled by curfews imposed by authorities and general strike called by protesters.
One of the places involved, the industrial center of Biratnagar, is Nepal's second-largest city.
The protests have been organized by the Tarai People's Rights Forum, a group that says it is working for the rights of the people in Nepal's southern plains.
The activists claim that the region has long been left out of the government's development and policy-making decisions, which the protesters say focus more on people living in the Himalayan mountains to the north.
Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has urged the groups organizing the protests to resolve the situation through dialogue with the government.
The group has welcomed the government initiative, but no talks have yet been held.


Updated : 2020-12-04 20:04 GMT+08:00