Madhesi Front gives 7-day ultimatum to Nepal govt

Kathmandu: The agitating Madhesi group on Wednesday served an ultimatum to Nepalese Prime Minister Prachanda, threatening to withdraw support to his government if their demands are not addressed in a week.

The United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) on Tuesday submitted a five-point memorandum to Prachanda during a meeting at the Prime Minister’s residence in Baluwatar.

In the memorandum, Madhesi (UDMF) leaders have demanded the withdrawal of local elections’ programme, discussion on the Constitution amendment bill in the Parliament and probe of police firing in Saptari.

They also demanded action against persons found guilty in the firing incident. The Madhesi leaders also asked the government to declare those killed in the incident as “martyrs” and demanded due compensation for their kin.

The Front has warned to withdraw support to the government if its demands are not addressed in a week, according to a statement issued by the Front after the meeting.

Meanwhile, the death toll in Saptari police firing has climbed to four after another Madhesi Front cadre succumbed to his injuries.

Three persons were killed on Monday after police opened fire at protesters who tried to disrupt CPN-UML’s programme in the district. Several others were injured in the firing.

The CPN-UML has claimed that the Madhesi Front had made a failed attempt at “assassinating the party leadership by encircling” them when they were leaving the programme venue on Monday after the public meeting.

The agitating cadres vandalised 50 vehicles and a few houses of the local leaders of the UML, the party said in a statement.

The two-day general strike called by the Madhesi Front paralysed life in 20 districts of southern Nepal for the second consecutive day. Most of the shops, educational institutions and factories remained closed during the strike.

Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, had launched a six-month-long agitation against the implementation of the Constitution without amending its provisions that would address the demands for more representation and re-demarcation of state boundaries.