Nepal to withdraw army from Terai for talks with protesters

Kathmandu, Sept 24: Nepal Government today agreed to hold decisive talks with parties agitating over the new Constitution and withdraw army from violence-hit Terai region bordering India, one of the major pre-conditions for talks set by the protesting groups.

The decision was taken after three major political parties -- Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist) -- held a meeting at Prime Minister Sushil Koirala's official residence at Baluwatar.

Nepal to withdraw army from Terai /india/india-denies-handing-any-amendments-to-nepal-constitution-1879134.html

In the meeting, attended by Koirala, CPN-UML chairman K P Oli and UCPN-Maoist chief Prachanda, it was decided to recall soldiers on condition that the Madhesi groups will stage peaceful protests, said UCPN-Maoist spokesperson Dinanath Sharma.

The three leaders also appointed Forest Minister Mahesh Acharya as coordinator for holding talks with a major Madhesi party, Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum-Democratic led by Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar and Tharuwan Struggle Committee.

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It was decided to lift restrictive zones across the country for creating conducive environment for the talks. The Madhesi parties are opposed to the new Constitution adopted through the Constituent Assembly.

Madhesis are Indian-origin people living on the foothills of Nepal's Terai region. More than 40 people have died in southern and western Nepal where Madhesi parties and Tharu ethnic groups have been protesting for more than a month over splitting the country into seven provinces.

They are demanding more rights and representation to the marginalised communities as well as reforms in the current citizenship regulations.

The escalating violence has raised concerns in India, which had it "repeatedly cautioned the political leadership of Nepal to take urgent steps to defuse the tension in these regions." Meanwhile, former prime minister and senior leader of ruling CPN-UML Madhav Kumar Nepal slammed India for "immature and irresponsible" reaction after the promulgation of the new Constitution on Sunday.

"India being a matured and largest democracy should not have displayed immature and irresponsible behavior towards Nepal after the promulgation of the constitution," Madhav said. He assured that no anti-Indian and anti-Chinese activities would be allowed in the country.

"But no country should try to make Nepal its puppet in return for its support and cooperation," he said. He urged neighbours not to meddle in the domestic affairs hurting the dignity of the people.

He said that the new Constitution has included the issues of federalism, inclusiveness, social justice and these issues were of the Madhesi people as well.


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