The Nepalese police has arrested over 30 people as demonstrators Sunday tried to enforce another nationwide strike against the proposed seven state federal solution in the draft Constitution.
“So far I can confirm that eight members of our security forces have been killed, including two paramilitary personnel”, home ministry spokesman Laxmi Prasad Dhakal said. They attacked the officers with stones, knives and spears, and one was set on fire and died, he said.
A new national constitution presented in parliament on Sunday aims to restructure Nepal as a federal state made up of seven provinces and draw a line under a decade-long civil war that ended in 2006. Armed Police Force (APF) personnel Lalit Saud and Ram Bihari Chaudhary have also been killed.
SSP Laxman Neupane was hacked to death while a head constable was burned alive by the protestors, officials said, adding that three demonstrators were also killed in the clash.
According to Bam, protesters from the indigenous Tharu community, who were demonstrating against the upcoming new constitution, had blocked roads and defied curfew in two villages of Kalali district in the country’s southwestern region when the clashes erupted. “Tharus are a peaceful community and we have been putting our demands for an undivided Tharu province peacefully, but our voices were not heard”, she said.
Federalism has been the key bone of contention, as Nepal is in its final leg of the constitution drafting process.
The district administration office has imposed a curfew in the district to control the agitation.
Nepal’s bickering parties struck a breakthrough deal earlier this month to carve the country into six provinces in a new constitution, since modified to include a seventh province.
The agitating group has rejected the seven province model of federal system announced by the major political parties in June after April’s devastating natural disaster.
The protesters argue that the new borders will discriminate against historically marginalised communities.
Work on a new national constitution began in 2008, two years after the end of a Maoist insurgency that left an estimated 16,000 people dead and brought down the 240-year-old Hindu monarchy.